In the past 4 weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals have played 2 division-leading teams and a third (Denver Broncos) that has won 4 games so far this year. So what’s one more brick wall to run through? The Bengals take on the New England Patriots this Sunday in Foxboro. The New England QB (Brady something-er-other) will be making his 2016 home debut after finishing a 4-game suspension. We don’t know how much rust he’ll have to shake off, but it will present yet another challenge for the boys in stripes.
3 Things to Watch in the Cincinnati Bengals vs NE Patriots Game
1. It’s Tom Brady’s home opener. We’ll stick with this for a moment, since it’s obviously the storyline of the game. The Cincinnati Bengals are ranked 13th in the league in passing defense heading into Week 6 (giving up 225 yards per game). That coupled with a 2016-debuting Brady could present a level playing field that will boil down to who wants it more. Let’s hope the Bengals can spoil the homecoming party.
2. Time for a big win against a big team. A win is a win – we get that. But the Bengals’ two wins this year are against teams with a combined record of 2-8. You won’t get into the playoffs by whipping cellar dwellers. Cincy needs to come out, make a statement, and show that they can roll with a good team … and beat them, too.
3. Lots of chances for a step-up. New England brings the NFL’s 4th-rated rushing attack into this game, and Cincinnati is ranked 21st in that category. The rushing D needs to step up. AJ Green is a proven threat, but we need another one. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd need to step up. The offensive has surrendered 17 sacks this year. The O-line … see a pattern here?