BENGALS REPORT CARD VS. PATRIOTS
PASSING OFFENSE: C -- Carson Palmer was sacked four more times, and he failed to throw a touchdown pass after getting four the previous week in Pittsburgh. Chad Johnson had six receptions but just a 10.7-yard average. The Bengals played Antonio Chatman (groin) for the first time this season in place of Chris Henry, the talented receiver who was deactivated by coach Marvin Lewis. The disjointedness of the offensive line is becoming a serious problem.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- The Bengals ran only 17 times, thank, in part, to falling behind by eight at the half. The line's troubles here again are worrisome to the Bengals. The Patriots front seven befuddled and out-muscled the Bengals blockers.
PASS DEFENSE: D -- Tory James had an interception on a tipped pass but was beaten badly on a touchdown play. Tom Brady tossed two touchdowns, as well, and the Bengals had little pressure on him. They had no sacks. The Patriots, when they did throw, picked on James and strong safety Kevin Kaesviharn, to much success.
RUSH DEFENSE: F -- The Bengals were hammered for 236 yards and have allowed an average of 203 in the past two games. Lewis said it's tackling, alignment, gap assignment, etc., etc., etc. Whatever it is, it's awful. The Bengals come out of the bye and will play five teams in a row who like to run the ball.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- Kevin Faulk got loose for a 43-yard punt return, and though Kyle Larson continues to punt well, the Bengals committed two penalties in the kick game and got nothing out of their kickoff return and punt return games.
COACHING: D -- The Bengals were flat and played as though they were not prepared. Defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan knew the Patriots were going to run, but his defense could not stop them. Coordinator Bob Bratkowski's offense scored just one touchdown and settled for field goals at the end of a pair of long first-quarter drives.