The New England Patriots lost their first game of the season to the Cincinnati Bengals, 6 – 13.
The Patriots had a chance to prove they can finally beat a physical defense and they couldn’t cash in a win today.
In 2011, the Patriots offense struggled and lost to the Giants (twice), and the Steelers, both had physical defenses. Last year they lost to the Seahawks, 49ners, Ravens, and the Cardinals, all boasting a physical defense.
This year, 2013, the Patriots faced their first physical defense of the season and they got beat in all phases, and left an ugly display on the field.
Brady missed passes, the offensive line couldn’t block, the run game couldn’t get going, and the receivers were dropping passes, and not just the rookies.
The most disappointing thing was the Patriots failing the physical test, and the second most disappointing thing was the offensive line struggling again against a good, physical, pass rushing team. Against physical teams Brady has been on the ground a lot, and that happen again today, also Brady tends to see ghost in these types of games which do not help.
The Patriots also struggled in the redzone and that may have been different if Gronk had decided to play today.
Third most disappointing thing was Brady’s touchdown streak ended today at 52, 2 shy of tying Drew Brees, and 3 shy of breaking it. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter that much, and we won’t remember it at the end of the season. It would have been great for Brady, but still, 52 in a roll is incredible.
Flipping to the other side of the ball, the defense was incredible.
The defense kept the Patriots in this game. With 4:24 left in the opening quarter the Bengals put together a nice drive that got to New England’s 12 yard line,but Dalton threw a pass across the field and Brandon Spikes intercepted it.
The Bengals would put the first points of the game on the board with 3:17 left in the first half.
The Patriots would use good time management with their timeouts when Cincinnati tried to run the clock out, and got good field position with 30 seconds remaining. Brady would connect on a few passes to set up Gostkowski’s 42 yard field goal to tie the game at halftime.
In the 3rd the Bengals would get a field goal to go up 6 – 3 and in the 4th they would go for it on 4th down on the 1 yard line with BenJarvius Green – Ellis, and he would push the pile for the TD. Bengals go up 13 – 3 with 9:27 left in the game.
Brady would connect with Aaron Dobson on a 56 yard pick up and then hit Amendola for a 16 yard gain to the 1 yard line. On 3 straight plays from the 1 the Patriots could not score and settled for the field goal. A huge blow to the Patriots. The score would be 13 – 6 in the Bengals favor with 6:30 to go.
Cincinnati would pick up a big 3 and 2 with 3:40 to go. The Bengals wanting to run the clock ran with rookie back Giovani Bernard who fumbled it when Devin McCourty put a helmet on the ball, and Pats linebacker Jerod Mayo recovered the football setting up New England’s offense at the Cincy’s 44 yard line.
The Patriots would get one last chance but Brady threw a deep interception to Adam “Pacman” Jones. It was a bad pass by Brady in the rain and the Patriots lost.
Mayo had a half sack, Chandler Jones had half a sack, Rob Ninkovich had half a sack, rookie Chris Jones had 1.5 sacks, and Tommy Kelly had 1 sack. Devin McCourty had a forced fumble, and Brandon Spikes had an interception.
AJ Green was held to 5 catches for 61 yards, a good effort by Talib in today’s game.
The Patriots held the running game of the Bengals as well, The Law Firm rushed 19xs for 67 yards and a touchdown. The rookie Bernard rushed 13xs for 62 yards.
The Patriots defense was very good in this game, and rookie punter Ryan Allen had a great day too.
Brady was 18/38 for 197 yards and 1 interception.
Blount rushed 12xs for 51 yards and Brandon Bolden rushed 5xs for 24 yards.
Aaron Dobson caught 2 passes on 4 targets for 49 yards. Danny Amendola caught 4 passes on 9 targets for 55 yards. Julian Edelman caught 2 passes on 7 targets for 35 yards.
Blount, Brady, Edelman, and Dobson all fumbled the ball but Blount’s fumble was the only one the Patriots did not recover.
Austin Collie did not play today and I hope we see him play some real soon because one thing I do know about him is he has great hands and after today, the Patriots could use that.
Rob Gronkowski will be a welcome sight for Tom Brady and the Patriots, they have struggled without him, especially in the redzone.
Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly have to get better, they had it bad out there today, but the entire line was bad YET AGAIN against a physical defense and Brady was hit, hurried, and sacked too much in the game. Brady needs time, if he gets it, he’s hard to stop. Brady also was antsy in the pocket too, seeing ghost a few times. But hey when you’re getting hit as much as he was, you will tend to do that.
P Ryan Allen: 8 punts for 353 yards. Average 44.1 5 inside the 20 53 yard longest punt
LB Brandon Spikes: 7 total tackles 1 interception