FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Quick-hit thoughts after the first quarter of the Patriots game against the Vikings (0-0 the score):
Meriweather shades over the top of Moss. The Patriots played safety Brandon Meriweather over the top of Randy Moss on almost every snap. With the Patriots keeping the safeties back, it falls on the front seven to stop the running game and the big guys up front came up big on third-and-1 on the opening drive, stopping Adrian Peterson short of the sticks. The run defense wasn't as strong on the Vikings' second drive, as Peterson already has 13 carries in this game.
Wilfork back on the nose. After playing Vince Wilfork at end in recent weeks, the Patriots had him back on the nose today. Rookie Brandon Deaderick started at left end, with Mike Wright at right end, so veteran Gerard Warren gets bumped out of the top group today.
Base 3-4 and a straight-up defensive plan. The Patriots stayed in their base 3-4 alignment for most of the quarter. Some games feature a lot of substitutions and matchup situtions, but this looks like one in which the team is playing more straight-up on defense.
Illegal motion penalty on Crumpler stalls first drive. The Patriots appeared to have picked up another first down, but a Danny Woodhead gain was nullified by an illegal motion penalty on tight end Alge Crumpler. The Patriots couldn’t convert on the ensuing play and punted the ball as the penalty hurt them.
Penalties cropping up for Patriots. In addition to Crumpler's penalty, the Patriots also have been penalized on special teams (Sergio Brown) and on defense (Gary Guyton).