Bengals at Patriots: Sunday “Catch Up” Notes
Hopefully there’ll be more of this from Wallace Gilberry on Tom Brady during the Begnals at Patriots action tonight. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
It’s game day Bengals’ fans and we at Stripe Hype want you to be up on all your Bengals’ news prior to tonight’s kickoff when the Bengals at Patriots action begins. The Bengals have no doubt prepared well for tonight’s game where they seek to get over their prime time woes while looking to cede AFC power from the Patriot dynasty. Well, we want your preparedness to match the Bengals’, so here is your “Catch Up” notes for the week in case you’ve been living under an NFL-proof rock.
Although both Vontaze Burfict and Marvin Jones traveled with the team, it doesn’t mean either player will or should play. After not practicing all week, it looks as though Jones won’t play while Kevin Zeitler is almost certainly out after telling ESPN’s Coley Harvey nearly as much.
The Bengals have done well without Marvin Jones to date, so everyone in the receiving game will need to continue to step up in his stead. Mike Pollak did well against Jurrell Casey and the Titans in Week Three while Zeitler was out. He’ll need to do equally well tonight when blocking the likes of Vince Wilfork and Patriots’ linebacker Jerod Mayo at the second level.
Vontaze Burfict did practice on Friday, but his status remains “doubtful.” It would be great to have Burfict against the Patriots, but having him at full health later in the year will be paramount. After sustaining two concussions in two weeks, it seems likely Burfict could miss the game. If Burfict misses the game, the Bengals will ask Emmanuel Lamur to step up once more.
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On the Patriots side, they have several players listed as “questionable” for the game: DE Chandler Jones, SLB Dont’a Hightower, WLB Jamie Collins, CB Alfonzo Dennard, and DL Dominique Easley. The Patriots often use the injury report as another way to confuse opponents, so we’ll see what happens at game time.
Brandon Browner is coming off his four-game suspension, but is unlikely to play.
Patriots to Watch Out For
Although the Patriots possess a highly-talented defense, their offense lacks firepower. Nonetheless, Rob Gronkowski is a dangerous weapon who can carry a team to victory as the Bengals have historically struggled against talented pass-catching tight ends. But, he’ll likely need another weapon to step up. Typically, Julian Edelman would be that guy, but with Leon Hall’s slot-blanketing talent, Edelman will have his work cut out for him.
Bill Belichick is likely to try and turn this game into a defensive battle, which may have led to his decision to release Kembrell Tompkins today. Jerod Mayo is clearly the leader of this defense, so the Bengals’ blockers will need to get to Mayo at the second level if they are to run the ball effectively. Obviously, Darrell Revis cannot be ignored. He’s been used in a zone type system this year, but if Belichick chooses to switch things up, we may get to see Revis battle A.J. Green all night.
Geno Atkins’ Stage
Geno Atkins’ looks to be primed for a big night. Read this if you want to hear more about why.
Other Notes of Interest
Getting the win tonight would give the Bengals their first 4-0 start since 2005; the franchise’s best starts to a season came in 1975 and 1988 when both teams started 6-0.
Winning this game would be the first time the Bengals have won a game against the Patriots on the road since 1986.
The Bengals defeated the Patriots last year at Paul Brown Stadium 17-6. By keeping the Patriots to only six points, the Bengals held them to the lowest point total in the “Tom Brady era.” Concurrently, the Bengals also broke Tom Brady’s 52 games with a touchdown pass streak; two shy of Drew Brees’ record 54 game streak.