The Patriots looked as bad as they've looked at home since the Brady era began during their 17-7 loss to the Broncos. The Cincinnati Bengals marched into Pittsburgh and beat the defending Super Bowl champions.
The undefeated Bengals will not be hospitable hosts to the Patriots this week. The trash talking--even if it was mostly in jest--was in full mode this week.
Here are the top 10 quotes of the week, heading into Game 4, Patriots-Bengals
Translation: "I couldn't get that crazy drunk out of here fast enough."
9. "Right now, I really couldn't care less about China, or any place else. Cincinnati, that's the only destination I'm really concerned with right now. I don't really care about anything else right now. That stuff is so far in the future that I don't know if China will be there a year from now. I don't know if I'll be there a year from now. Right now, all I care about is Cincinnati and that's plenty."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick with his thoughts on going to China next preseason
Translation: "China? Who's bright idea was it to go to China? That's a heck of a road trip."
8. "You know he's a big guy and I came in and tried to give him a shot. He took it and I kind of felt the brunt of it."
- Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams on his 1st quarter hit on Benjamin Watson
Translation: "Damn! Ben nearly killed me on that play. And I hit him."
7. "It was like whipped cream on crap."
- Patriots punter Josh Miller on his poor punt against the Broncos [ESPN Radio]
Translation: "That punt was pretty crappy."
6. "Mr. Belichick, I love him to death, but he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't do it
Tell him, please if he feels free, just give me a little one-on-one. I won't score. I'll stop at the one, and go out of bounds or something."
- Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson on whether or not he'll see single coverage this week
Translation: "I am so sick of getting double-teamed. I'm begging for single coverage. I need my touches."
5. "Tell him that, yeah, tell him that we'd cover him one-on-one all the time, but he pushes off more than any receiver in the league. He must be paying off the officials not to call it, so we're going to have to double-cover him some, not that he can get open. But as much as he pushes off, we're going to have to do something to protect ourselves."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick
Translation: "We're going to have two guys covering him on the sideline, in the parking lot, and in the locker room at halftime. I just hope that will be enough to stop him."
4. "You tell 37, I'm going to knock his helmet off. You tell Asante to make sure that he continues to have help all four quarters or his 22 is going to be 55. Is that what it looks like upside down? Wait a minute, I'm not finished. You tell Junior when I'm done with him--never mind. I'm not going to pick on Junior. That is not a good one. I could get hurt there."
- Bengals Wide Receiver Chad Johnson
Translation: "I'm just crazy enough to call out Rodney Harrison."
3. "That guy couldn't knock a mosquito's helmet off. I guarantee you. If he knocks my helmet off, I guarantee you. I will retire."
- Patriots safety Rodney Harrison
Translation: "Chad Johnson's funny. But seriously. If anyone's head's getting knocked off it's his. Head? Did I say head? I meant helmet. Yeah, helmet. Come on over the middle, Chad."
2. "I missed all of those shows today. Give them a call and talk to them about it."
- Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick when asked about local talk radio hosts blaming Brady for last week's loss
Translation: "Glenn Ordway? Never heard of him. I don't even listen to those guys. Even when I'm on the show. I'm always thinking about the team we're about to play and nothing else. All football all the time. I'm boring, what can I say?"
1. "I have nothing to say about that. I have no idea what happened. I don't know him or I don't know anything about that situation, so it's hard to comment on that. Whatever it is, you just wish for people to be happy and enjoy their life, and hopefully that's the case."
- Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady on his reaction to the Terrell Owens news
Translation: "Crazy freak. Glad he's not on my team."
Between the Terrell Owens distraction and the announcement that the Patriots are going to China next year, it's a wonder anyone had time to wind up Chad Johnson. But he's fired up to play the Patriots' defense. After the Patriots' performance last week and the way Cincinnati is playing, not many people are giving the Patriots a shot. We'll see if New England is up to the task, both on defense and offense. And we'll see who's doing the talking once the game is over.
Darren is a regular contributor to Patriots Insider. You can find him in the forums under the name: DestinationSuperBowl. You can also find archives of his columns on the Insiders by searching for "Darren Kelly"