The Cincinnati Bengals look to continue their winning ways in 2022 and next up on the schedule is the 7-7 New England Patriots. This Patriots team isn't anything like the one Bengals fans remember from the 2019 season -- the last time these two teams played each other -- but then again, this Bengals team isn't anywhere close to what that 2019 team looked like.
The Patriots don't have Tom Brady leading the way for them anymore but one thing they do have for this game that could threaten Cincinnati's win streak is a ferocious defense. That defense is going to be leaned on heavily for this ball game.
With that said, let's take a look at three members of the 2022 New England Patriots who could deal the Bengals fits this Saturday.
People were a bit surprised when the Patriots unloaded the Brinks truck for Matt Judon in 2021 but it's been a solid signing. Judon currently sits in second place in sacks this year with 14.5, trailing only Nick Bosa, who has 15.5 sacks on the year. To put that into perspective, Cincinnati's defense has just 22 sacks on the season.
The Bengals' offensive line has been performing better recently and since the Bengals' win streak began back in Week 9, Joe Burrow has not been sacked more than two times in a game. Judon is going to look to get after him this week and hopefully, the o-line is up for the task of protecting Joey Franchise.
The Patriots offense isn't very good this year but the one thing they can sometimes manage to do well is run the ball. Rhamondre Stevenson is why that's the case.
Stevenson is coming off an insane 172-yard rushing performance against the Raiders and has 914 rushing yards on the year with five touchdowns. He's a threat as a pass-catcher too, totaling 381 receiving yards and another score.
The Bengals won't have Sam Hubbard and might not have Trey Hendrickson for this game (there's optimism that he plays) so that could make the defensive line quite vulnerable against the run. Cincinnati's defense has been decent against the run this year because of D.J. Reader so here's to hoping he has another big game and can shut Stevenson down.
Rookie Jack Jones has looked good for the Patriots and he's someone the Bengals offense needs to account for. The rookie out of Arizona State has an impressive 76.0 PFF grade in coverage, proving that he's good at being where he needs to be.
Per PFF, opposing quarterbacks have targeted Jones 39 times so far this season and completed 20 of those passes for 306 yards. He's notched two interceptions on the year and returned one of those the other way for six points.
Joe Burrow's interceptions usually come via the tipped pass but that could be dangerous this week with a stingy Patriots defense looking to do just that. If a ball goes up for grabs, don't be shocked if Jones is able to come down with it.