"Hal Bent: The Cincinnati Bengals had a bad game against the Dallas Cowboys last week letting rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott jump out to a 28-0 lead en route to a 28-14 final. The Bengals started 8-0 last year and at 2-3 are in danger of falling out of the AFC North race as they have to travel to Foxboro on Sunday. The Bengals are going to be desperate to pull out a win on the road. Other than wide receiver A.J. Green, who on the Bengals offense should the Patriots be focusing on to shut down in order to win?"
Joe Lewis: Media reports indicate TE Tyler Eifert could make his season debut this week. While he may be limited, he is still a legitimate weapon for a Bengals offense that needs all hands on deck. With Matt Patricia almost assuredly double-teaming A.J. Green for the entire game, opportunities in the deep middle are going to be there. If Eifert plays, and is healthy enough, he could potentially step in and exploit some of those soft coverage areas.
James Caughlin: I’m still not sold on the pass defense so far this year, receivers and tight ends have been able to get open more often than not against someone. He may be a popular whipping boy but I get nervous about Logan Ryan having one of his lapses where his assignment catches 4 passes on the one drive. So I would be careful about guys like Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd getting open.
Connor Fulton: The Patriots should not underestimate the threat of their former employee, Brandon LaFell. Playing with his third team in four years, LaFell has found a sweet spot for himself in Cincy playing second fiddle to A.J. Green. Hal, you mentioned the Dallas game last week; LaFell was the only bright spot for the Bengals in that game with his pair of red zone touchdown catches in the fourth quarter. You can bet that LaFell would like nothing more than to have a huge game against the team that jettisoned him over the offseason in favor of Hogan.
Next: Joe ponders Gost’s struggles