Grading the Bengals: New England Patriots Edition

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Oct 5, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Bengals 43-17. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday night’s matchup against the New England Patriots almost seemed like a perfect storm for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Patriots were down and out, just coming off a humbling loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and going 2-2 in their first four games. The Bengals were playing nearly perfect football the first three weeks and were 3-0 coming off an early rest. That wasn’t what it looked like when game time rolled around. In fact, it looked like the opposite.

Bengals Offense: C+
No big plays and AJ Green was almost smothered by Darrelle Revis for the entire game. Jermaine Gresham was, for a lack of a better word, unfocused as he dropped numerous catchable passes, including one in the end zone. Andy Dalton tried to force the big plays and make something happen but was continually long on all his passes beyond 20 yards. Dalton is why this team is getting a C+ though, if he wouldn’t have made good decisions and put the team into scoring opportunities when he could, this game could have been an embarrassment instead of humbling. They also coughed up the football three times

Bengals Defense: C-
With as good as they have been, I didn’t have the heart to give them a D+ or lower. They had a terrible night, because they couldn’t stop the run, they got beat by a hurry up offense, and couldn’t get ample pressure on Tom Brady. They did however do something well by consistently getting under the Patriots skin. Rob Gronkowski lost his cool and the Patriots tempers flared costing field position and giving the Bengals opportunities to climb back in the game early on in the second half. They have allowed over 800 yards, including close to 500 yards Sunday night, in the last 2 games.