Grading the Bengals: New England Patriots Edition

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Oct 5, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis talks with linebacker Emmanuel Lamur (59) after a penalty call against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Special Teams: B-
An unnecessary offense call on the Patriots, decent field position with the punt return boosted the only real productive unit on a more consistent basis in the game. The only major blemishes were a fumble by Brandon Tate that was recovered for a touchdown and an early missed field goal by Mike Nugent that could have potentially helped give some life on the score board and make it 7-3. It also set the Patriots up with decent field position for their second drive, as they took a commanding 14-0 lead. Adam Jones played well on punt returns made a huge difference.

Coaching: D+
Hue Jackson attempted to make adjustments but seemed to flop in his first game trailing for more than a few seconds. His offensive schemes were not the problem as much as mistakes, like dropped passes and fumbles, crippled this offense. The defense had no answer for Tom Brady and the Patriots run attack. They consistently stumbled and faltered as the Patriots just ran over this defense without a second thought. Paul Guenther was able to make no adjustments and could not slow down the Patriots on almost all levels.

Bengals Overall: C
There is only one thing holding me from just giving the overall performance an F and that is the fact that just as much as it was a perfect storm for the Bengals to go 4-0, it was a perfect storm for the Patriots as well. They had just been embarrassed on the road and had questions asked all week about if this team’s time was up. The special teams and glimpse of offense was the shining spot in a very grim game.

The Bengals will look to improve at home as they take on a Carolina Panthers team that is coming off a big win at home. They will need to play much better in order to win, but they might be feeling almost like the Patriots did going into Sunday night’s game, humbled and ready to get back to their winning ways quickly.