New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Bengals Vs Patriots Preview

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images).

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images), Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images).

The Patriots and the Bengals, SNF, in less than 24 hours and what a big game it will be.

The Pats host the Bengals, who are undefeated, and widely regarded as one of the best teams in the NFL right now while the Pats have struggled through Septemeber. But, that month is over with and it’s time to turn the calendar and move on.

The Patriots are home underdogs and rightfully so, they have a big chance on a big stage to beat the Bengals and silence their critics, but more important than that, get some confidence. They need the win in my mind, but I don’t know if Belichick thinks that way. I know he wants to win, but I still think New England will continue treating the first 5 or 6 weeks of the season as training camp, so to speak. Everybody is playing and the Pats are figuring out who they want where and what schemes work best. Tomorrow night, while still figuring it out, they have to beat the Bengals which will be very tough.

I think after the Chiefs game the Pats will move away from zone and play man-to man, allowing Revis to shadow A.J. Green all game and allow Dennard or Ryan, or McCourty even to follow Sanu of the Bengals. Shutting down Green and Sanu will be huge for the Patriots and if they can do that, they have a legit chance to win. They also have to stop the run.

Giovani Bernard is a very good running back whose as good in the passing game as he is in the running game. He as 12 receptions for 148 yards this season and 55 rushing attempts for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Making sure he gets no space will be huge for the Patriots in both running and passing situations. I think the Pats will fare better against Bernard though. We will see, but Chris Jones will lead the charge and if Wilfork can help out, the Pats should fare much better.

The Patriots on the offensive side of the ball will need to play better at every position and at every phase. Brady has to be more accurate and confident, the RBs need to run better, and the wide outs need to get open and catch. The play calling needs to be better and will the Pats finally go back to that awesome no-huddle fast offense? They need to because they are better that way than in the huddle. I think the no huddle will help against this Bengals defense too. Shane Vereen needs to catch more passes than run, especially runs up the middle. Ridley needs to be the leader in rushing attempts and yards if New England wants to be successful tomorrow night.

The Pats will look to take advantage of the Bengals linebacker core, that’s the weakness of the team. The Pats will run Ridley right at them and should have success and they may also look to get Vereen involved against them or match up Edelman with them in situations. The Pats best chance of success tomorrow night will be to attack the linebackers.

The Pats also need Edelman to have a huge game and not be stopped, but in order for that to happen they need another threat. Right now, every team knows Edelman is all Brady has. Brandon LaFell is the X-Factor and will be a huge player in this game either good or bad. He has to step up earlier than he did Monday night to help make a real difference tomorrow. I think Brady will throw LaFell much more tomorrow and hopefully Gronk too. The Pats should move the ball much better and if he looks LaFell’s way, it should open things up for Edelman. The Bengals have good corners and safeties so Brady will need to know where they are at all times, especially SS George Iloka.

Most importantly, if Brady is upright and feeling good, the Pats should score more than 14 points. I don’t know what they can do for the OL though. The number one guy they have to stop is Carlos Dunlap, who has a sack in all 3 games this season. They may double him up, but they have to figure out a way to keep him off Brady. 

Tomorrow night we will see if the Pats are willing to fight or quit.

 


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