Brady’s jersey sums up the Patriots vs. Bengals in week 5
The New England Patriots took on the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium yesterday and one word can utterly and completely describe the entire affair: bad. The weather was bad, the Patriots offense was bad, the Bengals offense was bad, special teams were bad, even the Ben Gals cheerleading outfits were bad.
Okay, so the defenses were both good, with the Bengals D being just slightly better.
But mostly, everything was bad. Punts were dropped, quarterbacks were routinely sacked, fumbles cropped up at potentially pivotal moments, passes were erratic and errant and adjustments were not made.
The Patriots offense took two or three steps back after a very promising turn in Atlanta last week. The young receivers looked like they were making progress, the O line was opening holes for the running back tandem, and Brady threw the ball like Brady should.
This week, the receivers looked like they’d never run a route before, the running backs couldn’t hit the second level and Tom Brady failed to adjust his throws to accommodate the poor route running. At some point the quarterback, no matter where he thinks the receiver should be, has to actually make a pass that the receiver can catch. It’s called adjusting to the game on the field.
To be fair, the offensive line was, well, offensive. Allowing four sacks and multiple hurries, they were the anti-Denver O line.
Reason to Believe
But, there is hope for New England. Last week, the D was dealt a huge (in every sense) loss with the season-ending injury to Vince Wilfork, and there was concern about stopping the run. Despite allowing nearly 200 rushing yards to former Pat Benjarvis Green-Ellis, Giovanni Bernard and Andy Dalton, the Pat’s D only gave up one monster run of 28 yards to the sneaky fast rookie Bernard. And they almost pulled out four consecutive stops inside their own three yard line even after being on the field most of the day.
I would also be very surprised if the offense played this poorly again. Next week, the Saints head to Foxboro and Rob Ryan has always given Brady fits, but the Pats are at home, so I don’t see a repeat of yesterday’s Tom-foolery. Miami could stymie them, but by then, Gronk should be back to provide some much needed punch.
This game was a trap game. Don’t get me wrong, the Bengals are (or at least can be) a very, very good football team. But sandwiched between a trip to Atlanta and the high flying Saints, it was pretty clear that the coaching staff did not have a good game plan for neutralizing a potent Bengal’s D line.
Plus, Brady was held without a touchdown pass for the first time in 52 games. This will not be taken lightly by a competitor of Brady’s nature. This will definitely throw some fuel on the fire heading into the Saints matchup next week.
I’ve only seen Brady play live twice, and the first time I saw him at his best – beating the Browns in Cleveland 42 – 15 in 2004 – and now I’ve seen him at his worst.
Ultimately, yesterday’s game will be a forgettable footnote on the 2013 season.
Next week, let’s hope we’re singing, “When the Saints Go Marching [Home]”…with a loss. And let’s hope we see the start of a new touchdown streak by #12.