Bengals Fail Test Against New England, Fall To 2-4

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Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) and safety Shawn Williams (36) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Karlos Dansby (56) and safety Shawn Williams (36) during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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Week 6 wasn’t very friendly to the Bengals. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots continued their mastery over Cincinnati.

Sometimes wishes come true. But, then there are the days when the Boogeyman shows up and ruins everything. Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals had their dreams dashed. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots destroyed the Bengals 35-17. The day started out with promise but ended in shambles. Cincinnati failed miserably and fell to 2-4.

Was it all Brady? No, he had help from his favorite partner in crime. Rob Gronkowski dismantled the Bengals secondary and taunted a few players for fun (Gronk eat defensive people). How can I be so accepting of the humiliating beatdown? Simple. Going into Sunday’s game, the Bengals weren’t favored to win. In fact, a losing record against the Pats at their home stadium isn’t an encouraging thought. Also, the fire and drive aren’t there for the 2016 season. It somehow got stranded in the translation from last year to the present. 

Andy Dalton and Co. moved the ball with ease, during the first half. After the Patriots took a 3-0 lead, it seemed like the same old story was about to unfold. But, this time, there was a little spark in Ken Zampese’s game plan. For once, the Bengals’ offense looked like they were going to blow people off the ball and take control on the ground. Meh…the same old thing. Marvelous Marvin’s men got hopes up and then dashed them with a patented dose of bland play calling. 

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Is It The Plays Or The Timing?

The Bengals had a chance to pound the ball into the end zone and set a tone for the game. Deciding to go for it on fourth and goal is always an adrenaline soaked moment. But, when you decide to pound Giovani Bernard into the line…something isn’t right. Jeremy Hill is built for the tough dirty work inside. Is there more to his shoulder injury? If he can’t get it done, there’s Rex Burkhead waiting for a chance.

After the Bengals had to settle for a field goal, Dalton ran back to the sideline. Maybe I’m reading too much into things. But, when Coach Lewis tried to give Dalton some encouragement, The Red Rifle wanted nothing to do with the exchange. Lewis was clapping, he tried to stop Dalton…and nothing. Dalton blew past his coach like Gronkowski past the Cincinnati D.

Either Dalton is missing Hue Jackson or there’s a severe lack of creativity and Vulcan Mind Meld with Zampese. Dalton is doing a great job under center. But, the yards aren’t turning into points. Before the loss, Zampese’s offense was scoring 5.02 points per 100 yards. After Sunday’s contest, the unit is at 4.97 points per.

Bengals Fail Test In New England, Fall To 2-4
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports /

Was The D Better?

No, it wasn’t. Simple with no chaser. Paul Guenther’s unit surrendered 35 points after the Cowboys bombed them with 28. Taking a closer look at the defensive points per 100 yards, it gets worse. The Bengals’ D gives up a whopping 6.80 points per 100 yards. Teams that hover between 6.0 to 6.4 are exceptional. Anything above that is a struggling unit. This needs to get fixed in the next two weeks.

Next: Guenther On The Hot Seat

There were a few words exchanged and personal fouls. But, they went against the Patriots. Aaahhh…isn’t it nice to have a well-behaved team? Nah. I’d rather have the W’s instead.

Weeks 7 and 8 will be a chance for the Bengals to fix some things and figure out who they are. Until then, the bye week may be Cincinnati’s salvation.

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