Week 6: Bengals – Patriots Game Review

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Oct 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Brandon LaFell (11) after the game at Gillette Stadium. The New England Patriots won 35-17. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

In his home debut, New England Patriots’ QB Tom Brady had a stellar game throwing for 376 yards and 3 TDs against the Cincinnati Bengals.

It was a slow game on both sides of the ball from the Patriots to start the game, but they eventually got things going during the second half.

With this win, New England improves to 5-1 and are in sole position of 1st in the AFC, after the Denver Broncos (4-2), Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2), Oakland Raiders (4-2) all lost.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Positives

  • Brady felt ghosts behind him at times in the first quarter because of the Bengals four man pass rush, but was able to buy time in pocket throughout the game. Clearly still a wizard and one of the best in the league.
  • It was a huge and dominant game from TE Rob Gronkowski. He could not be stopped by whoever the Bengals decided to put on him, whether it was a Linebacker, Safety or Cornerback.
  • Brady TD throw to Gronk was great ball placement. Threw it to the right shoulder and low, only where Gronkowski would be able to catch it. Gronk’s hands are just like a wide receiver.
  • RB James White was featured heavily, which was a good strategy as his pass catching ability makes him quite the threat. But he was also able to have a good game rushing as well.
  • Patriots rushing defense has played fairly well, despite allowing over 120 yards on the ground…Solid game from DTs Alan Branch and Malcolm Brown again.
  • Big game from LB Dont’a Hightower. Looks like he is back to normal. Hightower safety was a game changer. He also has back-to-back safeties, which is quite rare.
  • LB Elandon Roberts again had a strong game before getting injured and coming out of the game for a while. Once Jamie Collins is able to return, this linebacker core, although thin at the moment, will be impressive.
  • Patriots DBs despite having rough moments this season while tackling, are very impressive. CB Malcolm Butler had a great tackle on WR Brandon LaFell in the first quarter to stop him short of the first down. Logan Ryan and Devin McCourty also had a great joint tackle on the Bengals first trip to the end zone to keep Giovani Bernard from scoring. This eventually lead to their goal line stop.
  • Pats CBs also matched up well against WR A.J. Green this during this game. They mixed both zone and man coverage. The defense showed a lot more man in the second half of the game though. This also gave CB Eric Rowe some opportunities as well in his debut with the team.

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