POST GAME: Send your Game Balls and Goats (here)
FINAL UPDATE 7:34pm: With this 38-13 victory over Cincinnati the Patriots move into sole possession of 1st place in the AFC East, the Jets blew the game vs. the Colts earlier today.
Though not spectacular by the numbers, Brady was very efficient going 15 for
26 for 188 yards with 2TD's and a pick.
The real story today was New England's defense and running game. Dillon & Maroney alone combined for 192 yards rushing and 3TD's. Doug Gabriel and Daniel Graham were Brady's favorite targets today as they both grabbed 4 catches a piece. Gabriel added a TD to his 57 yards receiving, 25 of which came on his touchdown catch.
Here's what the Patriots defense did today...
- 4 sacks
- 2 forced fumbles
- kept the Bengals wide receivers out of the endzone
- forced Cincinnati to punt 6 times
- knocked Cincinnati out of the ranks of the unbeatens in the NFL and gave them a lot ot think about during their bye week
- served Chad Johnson the trash he talked all week on a silver platter
Congratulations to Bill Belichick on winning his 100th game as head coach of the New England Patriots. Belichick's record is now 66-34 in New England. There's also 3 Super Bowl victories sprinkled in that tenure.
Next up for the Patriots are the winless Dolphins next Sunday in Foxboro. The Dolphins embarrassed themselves again today by losing to the Houston Texans 15-17 and have yet to crack the 20-point mark in a game this season. Weren't the Dolphins supposed to win the division this year?
Enjoy the victory Patriots Nation and I'll talk to you next week.
UPDATE 7:12pm: Aside from studying the playbook and gameplan for the Bengals next game after their bye week, Carson Palmer might also want to study up on turf/grass management since he's been so acquainted with the turf at Paul Brown Stadium today. Palmer's been sacked 4 times today but has been getting hit the entire second half.
I can put it this way, if they were filming a movie or TV show where there's a scene a bodyguard has to cover an important figure who's being shot at the Patriots lineman could easily play the role of the bodyguard. With Palmer playing the role of the target they've been doing a lot of takes with the line "GUN" followed by a bodyguard tackle.
In more sensible statements, Tom Brady is about to win his 10th straight game on artificial surfaces. It's a good thing he's so "unhappy" with this current team and that his "body language" tells the tale of the demise of the New England Patriots. Don't you just love the media?
UPDATE 7:01pm: Capitalization
No, not a phonetic lesson in grammar but the story of the day for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady has just hit a completely wide-open Daniel Graham for a 3-yard pass and yet another Patriots score, capitalizing once again on poor Bengals play. New England is now up 38-13 and is in position to get Bill Belichick a win in his 100th game as head coach of the New England Patriots.
As Jim Nantz put it, there will be no changing of the AFC guard just yet.
New England's 226 yards rushing are the most for New England since 1993. For those of you scoring at home that's early in the Clinton Administration.
UPDATE 6:53pm: Another Sack, Another Fumble
After getting hit by Tedy Bruschi & Ty Warren while dropping back in the pocket Carson Palmer has once again fumbled. Ty Warren recovered the fumble and the Patriots take over at the Bengal 29.
UPDATE 6:49pm: After 2 attempts by Corey Dillon from the goal line, Dillon gets into the endzone standing up on 4th & goal to give the Patriots a 31-13 lead in the 4th quarter. The referees penalized Dillon for "excessive celebration" after he threw the ball into the endzone. Dillon will most likely also be fined by the No Fun League for doing so. Let the guy get his "returning to previous team" payback and leave him alone.
I'm sure Corey Dillon will thank Jarvis Green for his touchdown.
UPDATE 6:42pm: Jarvis Green has stripped Carson Palmer of the ball and recoverred the ball. It's Palmer's 6th fumble of the season.
Patriots take over on the Cincinnati 13.
UPDATE 6:39pm: Stephen Gostowski has finally hit a field goal. His 24-yarder has widened the gap for New England as the Patriots now lead 24-13. Tom Brady has now gone 13 quarters without being sacked.
Reche Caldwell was back on the field during the scoring drive. Seems as though he's shaken out the cobwebs after being racked by Kevin Kaesviharn.
UPDATE 6:34pm: At the end of the 3rd quarter the Patriots have the ball 2nd & goal from the 6. On this 88-yard drive Dillon has 21 yards rushing and Maroney has a 41 yard run, now the longest play from scrimmage for New England this season.
So far New England has 187 yards rushing.
UPDATE 6:24pm: New England now has a 21-13 lead after a great 25-yard touchdown run by Lawrence Maroney, his second of the day. On the run Maroney used speed, strength and great blocking by Daniel Graham and Troy Brown to find the endzone on the longest touchdown run for New England since 2002.
On the previous play WR Reche Caldwell was LAID OUT by Bengals defensive back Kevin Kaesviharn on a pass attempt inside the 10-yard line. Kaesviharn was called for a blow to the head personal foul, a 15-yarder.
As of midway through the 3rd quarter, Tom Brady has not been sacked in 12 quarters.
UPDATE 6:11pm: The Bengals have closed the gap 14-13 on a 2 yard run by Rudi Johnson. A nice 27th birthday present for Rudi. The Bengals have now scored all 12 times they've been in the red zone this season.
On the 62 yard scoring drive, a 32-yard pass play to T.J. Houshmanzadeh was the big play. On that play Troy Brown was covering T-Housh.
14-13 New England w/ just over 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
UPDATE 6:05pm: Gostowski missed a 48-yard attempt to close out the opening drive of the 3rd quarter for New England. At least this one wasn't blocked like his previous 2.
On the drive Tom Brady had a 22-yard run, the longest of his career. Still 14-6 New England with 11:20 to go in the 3rd quarter.
UPDATE 5:55pm: Patriots up 14-6 at the half as the defense ha really stepped up on the road. The way Cincinnati started out it was looking like a long day ahead.
Here's the first half on paper.
Brady - 7 of 12 for 11yds, 1TD and 1 INT(tipped ball)
Dillon - 25 yards on 6 carries
Maroney - 27 yards on 8 carries and a TD
Gabriel - 3 catches for 38 yards and a TD
Palmer - 12 of 23 for 128 yards
Rudi Johnson - 41 yards on 9 carries
Chad Johnson - 4 catches for 46 yards
TJ - Houshmandzadeh- 2 catches for 30 yards
The Bengals punted 4 times in the first half and also committed 5 penalties.
Chad Johnson bruised his shoulder towards the end of the first half and his
return to action in the second half is probable.
Update 5:34pm: Tom's New Toy
Tom Brady has completed to Doug Gabriel on a 25-yard touchdown strike. On the play Brady recognized the oncoming blitz, changed the coverage, read the bite on the short pass by DB Toryy James and threw a strike to a WIDE OPEN Doug Gabriel. Tom's getting to like Doug.
Pats 14-6 with under 1:40 to go.
Update 5:25pm: The Bengals offense has been slowed and they've punted 3 times so far in the first half. Kevin Faulk returned the last punt 43 yards out to the Bengal 42 yard line. At the 2-minute warning of the first half it's New England ball at the Cincinnati 25 yard line, 3rd & 5.
UPDATE 5:21pm: New England has taken the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run by Lawrence Maroney. The play was setup by New England's longest play from scrimmage of the season, a 35-yard pass to Ben Watson. On the 8-play, 83 yard scoring drive 4 of the plays were for more than ten yards.
Rookie WR Chad Jackson got his first touch in two weeks on a ten-yard rush.
On the Bengals previous drive WR Troy Brown came in on defense as a defensive back on 3rd down. The Bengals punted on the next play.
UPDATE: 4:58pm: Tom Brady was just intercepted for the 1st time in his last 68 pass attempts. WR Doug Gabriel couldn't haul in a high, but catchable ball and tipped it into the hands of defensive back Tory James. An earlier pass attempt by Brady went threw the hands of tight end Daniel Graham. Hopefully for New England this season long trend of dropped balls won't last that much longer.
Fortunately for New England the Bengals were unable to capitalize on the turnover and had to punt.
UPDATE 4:47pm: Shayne Graham kicks a 45 yard field goal putting the Bengals up 6-0. Graham is now 32 of 41 for his career on FG attempts of 40 to 49 yards.
UPDATE 4:41pm: After a nice start on offense Tom Brady thew incomplete to Ben Watson who was double covered and the Pats were forced to punt. On the punt newly signed Patriot Antwann Spann was called for interfering with the fair catch and 15 yards were tacked onto the catch bring the ball out to the 26 yard line of Cincy.
Corey Dillon carried the ball for a combined 12 yards on the first 2 plays for New England.
Tom Brady completed his first pass attempt for 18 yards to Kevin Faulk.
UPDATE 4:30pm: The Bengals are moving the ball well early. Their offensive line is giving Palmer a lot of time. Palmer has thrown to Chad Johnson on the first 2 plays from scrimmage. On this opening drive Chad Johnson has 3 catches for 30 yards.
With the ball on the Patriots 30 yard line w/ a little over 10 minutes to go in the 1st quarter Cincy called it's first time out. Since the time out they weren't able to do much as New England began to penetrate the pocket.
The Patriots have held the Bengals to a 40 yard field goal by Shayne Graham. Cincy 3-0 with just over 9 minutes left in the opening quarter.
UPDATE 4:10 pm: Coming to you LIVE from Brighton, MA where it's a cold & rainy one to start off October, the New England Patriots are enjoying extended summer weather as it's a glorious day in Cincinnati. Yes, often that phrase is an oxymoron, but with sunny skies and temps in the mid 70's and a team some are calling Super Bowl favorites these are good times to be in the "Natti" as the kids like to call it.
A big challenge today for the Patriots as they face a loaded Bengal offense. A little less loaded toady as WR Chris Henry will not play. Coach Marvin Lewis has benched Henry as a result of his drunken ride w/ now suspended teammate Odel Thurman.
For New England they'll be without a handful of people. Here's the list...
With 3 defensive linemen out New England will only dress 5 defensive linemen. Will this result in a lot of 3-4 alignements in effort to keep fresh bodies? We'll soon find out.
New England holds an 11-8 edge in the all-time series with the Bengals.
Belichick is 10-3 over Cincy.
The last time these teams met was in December of '04. New England won 35-28, Brady had 2TD's and the Pats forced 2 turnovers. The last time these teams met in Ohio the Bengals won 23-17 back in September of '01. I nthat game Corey Dillon ran for 104 yards and scored a TD for the Bengals.
Tom Brady is 16-1 for his career on artificial surfaces which is what he'll be playing on today at Paul Brown Stadium.
Not to get too nostalgic but I remember way back, before the internet, when both these teams were awful and the monotone voices of Beasley Reece & Don Criqui would lull viewers to sleep by halftime. Today Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will call this big AFC matchup for CBS.
Talk about the team on the Patriots