Patriots at Bengals: Position by position breakdown

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Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) passes against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at Georgia Dome. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

 

Quarterback:

Brady is not having a “Brady” year (58.9% completion and, 87.4 rating and just 7 TDs), but he is still hands down better than Dalton. Brady’s numbers are down because he lost every receiving weapon from last year. Dalton’s numbers are inflated because of the weapons he has. If you were to give Brady Dalton’s weapons, the Patriots would be averaging 40+ ppg – give Dalton Brady’s weapons and I shiver at the thought… maybe 10 ppg?

Either way, much like the Green Bay game, the Bengals won’t be able to shut Brady down, they need to just contain his running game, make the Patriots one-dimensional, and then slow Brady down. Sounds easy, I just don’t know if Zimmer’s men can do it.

Advantage: Patriots

 

Running Backs:

In yards per game (ypg), the Patriots are 11th (125.0) and the Bengals 22nd (83.8). However, in terms of this Sunday, these stats are misleading – 275 (55%) of the Patriots 500 yards are on the bench with injuries (Ridley and Vereen) and another 10% are wrapped up in one outlier (Blount’s 47 yard TD run), leaving a true perspective in what the Bengals will be facing Sunday. Without Ridley, Vereen and Blount’s long run, the RBs that will be playing on Sunday (Bolden and Blount) have a total of 175 yards and just 42 carries.

The Bengals have 4 TDs from their backs actually playing (0 for NE) and despite BJGE’s current struggles, the Bengals clearly have the more dynamic backs. With his ability to make things happen in the run game as well as the pass game, Bernard offers an element the Patriots do not have and an element the Patriots will have difficulties defending. With Wilfork out, look for the Bengals to finally use a balanced attack and look for the Bengals RBs to have a lot of success.

Advantage: Bengals

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