Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws while being hit by Atlanta Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent (52) in the first half at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
Four games: four wins. The New England Patriots continue to win in 2013, but now comes another road test. One week after traveling to face NFC powerhouse Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome, the Patriots hit the road again to Cincinnati to face the 2-2 Bengals. Last week the Patriots defeated the Falcons after a furious finish in the fourth quarter after it appeared New England had locked up the game. Quarterback Tom Brady again clicked with his young wide receivers on offense while the defense gave up 400 yards to quarterback Matt Ryan and had no answers for tight end Tony Gonzalez. However, cornerback Aqib Talib had his coming out party on national television by shutting down wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones and making a play on fourth down in the end zone to preserve the win for New England.
Traveling to Cincinnati is a tough road for any team, and the dinged-up Patriots may still be without their trio of top receiving targets: tight end Rob Gronkowski (questionable to play), wide receiver Danny Amendola (questionable to play), and running back Shane Vereen (on injured reserve with a designation to return). Also on the injury report are young receivers Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, and young veteran running backs Stevan Ridley (just announced out for the game0 and Brandon Bolden are dealing with injuries as well. Add in defensive captain and big middle of the defense Vince Wilfork out for the season on injured reserve, and the Patriots are again in a hole with injuries.
The AFC North favorites Cincinnati lost last week to Cleveland, but remain a tough matchup, especially at home. So what does week five of the 2013 NFL season against the Cincinnati Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton, tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, and wide receiver A.J. Green hold for the New England Patriots? The MusketFire.com staff has their analysis and predictions for the matchup right here: