Defense, Defense, and some more Defense.
New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady’s consecutive streak of 52 games with a touchdown pass ended Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium when corner back Adam “Pacman” Jones picked him off at the Bengals 3 with 16 seconds left to preserve a 13-6 defensive effort victory over the Patriots.
Brady and the Pats were held to a field goal when he had a first and goal from the 1 in the fourth quarter, the Bengals forced a three and out with two minutes left when right end Wallace Gillberry sacked Brady on third down for the fourth sack of the game for the defense. It was so pivotal after rookie running back Giovani Bernard fumbled after a helmet hit by corner back Devin McCourty and the Patriots recovered with great field position.
The defense needed to make the plays to secure the win. The Bengals couldn’t generate a first down and went three and out. Brady got the ball in great field position with 1:48 left and one timeout. The Bengals gave him life on fourth and four when safety Chris Crocker was called for off sides. Then the refs gave Brady life when they called Gilberry for roughing Brady, but Jones made the game winning play at the end.
The Bengals offense finally scored their first touchdown since the Packers game with a BenJarvus Green-Eills one-yard run on fourth down behind defensive tackle Domata Peko’s block giving Cincinnati a 13-3 lead in the middle of the fourth quarter. Before that on the 1 on third down Peko lined up as a fullback, but moved before the ball was snapped, putting the ball back at the 5.
It was a huge 93-yard, 14-play drive that consumed 7:48 of the clock. The Bengals were staring at a third and 15 from their own two with a minute left in the third quarter when quarterback Andy Dalton caught the Pats defense sleeping and quick snapped from his own end zone for a 28-yard huge play when wide receiver Marvin Jones went up and made the catch. On the next snap Bernard burst through for another 28-yard play. A catch-and-run for 17 yards by wide receiver Aj Green got the ball to the 6 and Green-Ellis finished it off on fourth down with the score.
The Bengals defense was dominant today. It allowed Brady only one third-down conversion on 12 tries, sacked him four times, and hit him eight times. Brady finished the day 18-of-38 for 197 yards and a 52.2 rating.
Dalton finished the game going 20-of-27 for 212 yards and an 81.1 passer rating, didn’t target a wide receiver until about midway through the first half, but he hit three different ones the Bengals had a 3-0 lead over the Patriots with three minutes left on Nugent’s field goal in a half that ended at a 3-3 tie.
The Bengals scored when defensive end Carlos Dunlap tomahawked a fumble from the arms of Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and Reggie Nelson recovered it at the 30 as Dunlap made atoned for himslef after a 15 yard penalty on a horse collar tackle. On a third and-five play, Dalton threw an 18 yard pass over cornerback Aquib Talib to Green and Green picked up 11 more when he ran a slant in front of Talib. Dalton hit Marvin Jones on another slant for 11 yards, the Bengals had the ball at the 25. But Dalton was sacked and he had to get the ball to wide receiver Mohamnd Sanu for 11 yards to get close enough for Nugent’s range.
Defensive tackle Geno Atkins shot through the left guard and left tackle on a play action and immediately blew up Brady for a nine yard loss on second down on the first series of the game. The Patriots went 3 and out easily on their first possession of the game.
Second defensive series, resulted in another sack. This time it came on third and two play when Brady went play action again, but Gilberry was right on top of him to force another punt and a 3 and out.
Dalton’s first career red zone interception couldn’t have come at a bad bad time, in a scoreless game, and it stopped his NFL best streak of 37 straight red zone touchdown passes without an interception. The Bengals got into the red zone with some pound running by BJGE, and big throws to the tight ends. Gresham got a 12 yard gain and Dalton went play action to Tyler Eifert down the middle for 22 yards.
It was Eifert that Dalton went after in the red zone, but he made the mistake of throwing back over the middle as he scrambled to his right and linebacker Brandon Spikes was right there as he made the pick and Dalton heard the boos from the sold out PBS crowd.
The Bengals go to 3-2 on the season and move into a first place tie in the AFC North Division with the Browns and Ravens. Next they will head to Buffalo to take on the Bills this Sunday at 1pm a start of a two game road trip.