It WAS a Trap! New England Patriots Dominate Cincinnati Bengals


Oct 5, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) fumbles the ball under pressure from New England Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis (24) during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals went into their Sunday night game against the New England Patriots fresh off three win and a bye week, and as a darling pick to not only topple the Pats but to make a strong Super Bowl run.  The Bengals left Foxboro looking like a different team after a 43-17 drubbing at the hands of Tom Brady and company.

The Bengals were never really in this game, as Brady drove the Patriots 80 yards on the first series, handing the ball off to Stevan Ridely for the seven-yard capper that put the Pats up for good less than five minutes into the night.  New England kept the pressure on, building a 20-3 halftime lead that the Bengals couldn’t erase with a third-quarter surge that included two Andy Dalton touchdown passes.

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Both teams’ passing games were efficient but not spectacular on the night, with Dalton taking his first sack of the season.  The real difference came on the ground, where the Patriots racked up 220 yards to the Bengals’ 79.  Not surprisingly, that grinding game plan kept the New England offense on the field nearly twice as long as Cincinnati’s.

The Bengals were also decimated by fumbles, coughing up the football three times and losing possession all three times.  Even a decided advantage for in penalty calls and yards couldn’t help the Bengals overcome this turnover disparity.

During the first three weeks, the Bengals appeared to be toying with their opponents at times, unleashing trick plays that were sometimes embarrassing to the other side.  On Sunday, Cincinnati looked like some of that early-season success really WAS smoke and mirrors.