Cincinnati Bengals Game Preview: New England Patriots


Oct 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson (17) cannot catch a pass while being covered by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Terence Newman (23) at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals head to Foxborough, MA this week for a Sunday night game against the 2-2 New England Patriots. Most of the team will be heading in this game with a good memory of what happened last year at home against a very similar team. What they must expect is that those returning for the Patriots remember as well.

Keys to the Game

Cincinnati Bengals: They must, and I mean must, keep their head on straight. Yes, the Bengals are undefeated and playing the best football of most of their careers, and yes, this is a Patriots team that has been struggling as of late, but that doesn’t mean the game is already won. This defense must control the passing game with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski. They need to get to Brady early and get him quickly off his game. They must capitalize on mistakes and win the turnover battle.

On the other hand, the offense must continue to keep Andy Dalton clean and give him time to observe the field. The balance must be established early, like in the previous three games, and they must continue to limit the turnovers. Andy Dalton must continue to find receivers and make good decisions, in and out of the pocket. He needs to control the tempo early and keep the Brady and the Patriots’ offense off of the field.

New England Patriots: Tom Brady must find a way to get much better this season, and fast. He has a 79.1 QB rating, is averaging only 198 yards passing per game, has only four touchdown passes, and has five turnovers (two interceptions and three lost fumbles). He must find the end zone this year because the Bengals kept him out of it in their last meeting. The offensive line must also protect him better; they’re currently averaging over two sacks a game.

The defense must get to Andy Dalton and they must force turnovers. They can’t allow the big play that the Bengals have been known for. They must control the balance and tempo of the game from the start. If they find a way to do that, they could throw the Bengals off just enough to get by them.

Prediction: Bengals will get their first back-to-back win since ’91-’92 and their first win against New England on the road since 1986.

Bengals 27 – Patriots 17