Patriots: What they have to do

The Patriots have a lot of challenges ahead of them on Monday night, but what do they have to do to win the game? Patriots Insider goes inside the numbers and the strategy to give you the top keys to the game for this week 4 matchup.

Keys to the Game

1) Stop the Bengals receivers from making big plays: The Cincinnati Bengals have the fourth-best scoring offense in the NFL averaging 31 points per game. The Bengals have 14 plays of over 20 yards, and their offense is geared toward the big play. With Chad Johnson on one side and T.J. Houshmandzadeh on the other, Cincinnati has the ability to score quickly. Even if the Patriots manage to get off to an early start or get up by multiple scores. The Bengals can still be dangerous with Carson Palmer on his receiving corps. Two weeks ago the England put up 45 points on the Browns. Unfortunately for Cincinnati, Cleveland put up 51.

2) Avoid the Dumb mistakes: Tom Brady and Bill Belichick both mentioned avoiding mistakes when playing the Bengals. The Cincinnati defense has the ability to convert mistakes into points/. Cincinnati is one of the top conversion leaders in the league with The Bengals are 25-3 under Lewis with a plus differential in turnovers (a .893 winning percentage).

Tom Brady has had time to pick apart opposing defenses, but as many Fans know when Brady is pressured he can make mistakes. Miami Dolphins fans know that getting pressure on Brady is the key to the game. Getting pressure to force a turnover, whether on a strip sack or an interception is imperative for Cincinnati. With Justin Smith on one side and Robert Geathers on the other, New England's tackles will needs to keep Brady upright.

3) Get Moss and Welker going early: When the Patriots score first it's usually because Randy Moss and Wes Welker were able to get involved in the game plan early. Welker had 6 catches for 61 yards in his first game, and 8 for 91 his second. 11 of Welker's 20 receptions resulted in first downs. For Moss it has been about the big play. In the first game Moss averaged over 20 yards per reception and in the third game he repeated that performance. Moss has 22 receptions for 403 yards with 7 for over 20 yards and another 3 over 40. Moss is on pace to turn in 37 plays over 20 yards and 16 of them going for 40 yards or more. He is also on a pace to score 26 touchdowns after gaining 2100 yards.

While those numbers obviously won't hold up over the course of a16 game season, Moss's addition along with Welker has boosted the Patriots offense to No. 1 in the league scoring on overage 38 points and 441 yards per game, unheard of for most Patriots offenses.

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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"

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