Patriots vs Giants - First Quarter Observations

Ian Logue
November 06, 2011 at 04:51pm ET

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It was an interesting first quarter to start Sunday's game, and here are a few notes and highlights from the opening quarter.

The Patriots opened the game rushing the ball on their first posession, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis carrying 3 times for 23 yards (7.7avg) including a season long 18-yard gain.  Unfortunately New England would be forced to punt after a pass to Aaron Hernandez was caught just short of the first down marker.

Brandon Spikes Having a good game so far. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Brandon Spikes had the highlight of the early part of this game on New York's next possession, with the linebacker blowing up Jake Ballard on an 8 yard reception after the catch just short of the first down marker, which forced a punt.

New England struggled to get anything together on their next drive, going three and out.  The series started with a 6-yard gain by Deion Branch and 3-yard pickup by Green-Ellis, but on 3rd and 1 at their own 15 Danny Woodhead was dropped for a one yard loss to force another punt by Zoltan Mesko.

On the Giants next possession, another highlight was Gerard Warren providing good pressure up the middle on a quarterback hit on Eli Manning.  Vince Wilfork also inadvertently hit Manning in the chin with the top of his helmet, which - if the first seven weeks were any indication - will likely lead to a potential fine.  The hit forced an incompletion and a Giants punt.

An interesting note so far through the opening quarter: While he hasn't been getting any looks just yet, wide receiver Chad Ochcocinco appears to be a little more confident and so far has been getting open.  What that means as the game goes on remains to be seen, but it should be something to keep an eye on.

The score is currently 0-0, with New England sitting at the Giants 32 yard line at the end of the opening quarter.