The final play on offense was an interception thrown into double coverage. Adam Jones pulled the ball in before it hit the turf.
The Patriots’ defense did everything they could to keep the game close, but the offense looked awful against a good Cincinnati defense. The Patriots could have used Gronkowski in this one. We’ll have more on this ugly showing on NESN.com.
Fourth quarter, 1:48, Bengals 13-6: The defense made a huge stand on third-and-two. A depleted defensive line held BenJarvus Green-Ellis from getting the first. The Patriots have the ball at their own 35.
Fourth quarter, 2:32, Bengals 13-6: The Patriots couldn’t get anywhere on that drive. The Bengals have the ball at the seven-yard line. The Patriots have three timeouts and the two-minute warning.
Fourth quarter, 3:42, Bengals 13-6: A Devin McCourty helmet forced Giovani Bernard to cough up the football. Jerod Mayo recovered it near the sideline.
That was just what the Patriots needed. Now they need a touchdown.
Fourth quarter, 6:36, Bengals 13-6: The Patriots should have had a touchdown on the grab by Aaron Dobson. Dobson took it 53 yards, but took a wild route to the end zone and nearly coughed up the ball. Well, he did, but he recovered it.
The Patriots made it down to the one-yard line, but couldn’t get it in the end zone. Stephen Gostkowski put it through the uprights for three.
Fourth quarter, 9:21, Bengals 13-3: The Patriots needed a fourth-down stop there, but losing Tommy Kelly really hurt on an attempted goal-line stand. Kelly went down with a non-contact knee injury, came back in later in the drive, but had to come off on fourth down.
Defensive end Jake Bequette was forced to play on the interior. The Patriots’ offense has been anemic so far.
End third quarter, Bengals 6-3: The defense is starting to break. Tommy Kelly came up with a huge sack to put the Bengals in a third-and-18 situation. Dalton then completed a long first down to Marvin Jones. Giovani Bernard then ripped off a long gain. The Bengals lead by three, but it’s not looking great right now.
Third quarter, 2:09, Bengals 6-3: Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense’s struggles continue. Fortunately, Ryan Allen keeps helping New England out with some quality punts inside the 20.
Third quarter, 5:43, Bengals 6-3: The Bengals finished their long drive with a field goal. Aqib Talib nearly came up with an interception on third down, but he couldn’t get his second foot down in the end zone.
The Patriots’ defense is bending but not breaking as usual. Jerod Mayo has had a nice game. Rookie Chris Jones has 1 1/2 sacks already in place of Vince Wilfork.
Third quarter, 12:00, 3-3: Tom Brady’s struggles continue. He’s overthrowing receivers left and right in this one. The Patriots’ defense will have to continue to step up.
Brady’s just 13-of-23 for 102 yards.
Third quarter, 14:37, 3-3: The Bengals only had the ball for 23 seconds on that drive. Dalton targeted Green twice and Eifert once. He wound up with three incompletions.
Talib made a nice play on the third pass, batting the ball away from Green.
End half, 3-3: That, too, didn’t take long. The Patriots were able to tie the game with a quick drive at the end of the first half.
New England’s offense really struggled in the first half. They’ll need to make some big adjustments to pull out ahead in the second half. They’re lucky the defense has been so stout, or this game could be ugly.
Second quarter, :44, Bengals 3-0: That was a quick drive by the Bengals. After just 13 seconds, Cincinnati is punting. Typically, New England would just kneel on it here. The fact that they deferred on the kickoff is probably changing strategy here. The Patriots called all three of their timeouts to get the ball back.
Second quarter, :57, Bengals 3-0: So much for the weather being an advantage for the Patriots. Tom Brady has looked shaky and his receivers have had trouble with drops.
The Patriots ran a screen to Aaron Dobson, which was strange, since Edelman, Amendola, Thompkins and Josh Boyce all have much better agility. The drive ended on a diving drop by Thompkins.
Second quarter, 3:12, Bengals 3-0: The Bengals finally put some points on the board. A key sack by Chris Jones, the first of his NFL career, nearly pushed the Bengals out of field goal range, but a completion to Mohamed Sanu made the kick easy.
The Patriots have three minutes to get down the field and respond. This has been a fast-moving game so far.
Second quarter, 7:54: Just when the Patriots start getting the ball rolling on offense, LeGarrette Blount fumbled. Hopefully no one took the over in this game.
Carlos Dunlap chopped the ball out of Blount’s arm. Michael Hoomanawanui had a drop earlier in the drive.
Second quarter, 8:57: Andy Dalton is having a lot of trouble against this New England defense. Jerod Mayo came up with a key play on third down, showing off his impressive instincts in stopping Giovani Bernard.
Devin McCourty was covering Jermaine Gresham on first down. He did a better job than the linebackers have been doing. Dalton has yet to complete a pass to a wide receiver.
Second quarter, 10:57: Still no score in Cincinnati. The Patriots are eating clock, but not getting very far down the field. Brady seems to be struggling a little bit here in the first half so far.
Brandon Bolden made up for his earlier drop by catching a first-down pass. LeGarrette Blount is slowly getting some room to run.
End first quarter: The first quarter ended well for the Patriots. Andy Dalton threw a very ill-advised pass to Tyler Eifert. Brandon Spikes was able to step out in front and pick off the Bengals inside the red zone.
Cincinnati was having no trouble moving the ball against New England before that pass. The tight ends were especially moving the ball on the Patriots.
First quarter, 4:27: Still no score in this one as the Patriots have struggled to move the ball on offense. LeGarrette Blount had a couple nice runs and Kenbrell Thompkins had a great first-down reception. Brandon Bolden had a huge drop with nothing but a clear field in front of him. Tom Brady underthrew Julian Edelman on third down.
First quarter, 7:15: The Patriots’ defense was able to come up with another drive. Dont’a Hightower, Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich shined on that drive.
The Patriots are changing up their personnel a lot with Wilfork out. Jamie Collins and Michael Buchanan were in on third down.
First quarter, 8:51: The Bengals were able to stop the Patriots on their second drive just as easily as the first. The Patriots’ offensive line is already giving up plenty of pressure. Geno Atkins and Wallace Gilberry already have sacks. Nate Solder has allowed both sacks, though the second to Gilberry was hardly his fault. The Patriots didn’t have enough personnel on that side of the line.
First quarter, 10:39: The Patriots were able to stop the Bengals on the first drive of the game.
The Patriots increased Brandon Spikes’ snaps early without Vince Wilfork in. He overpursued on the first play, but came up with a big stop on BenJarvus Green-Ellis later in the drive.
First quarter, 15:00: The Patriots have won the toss and elected to receive. Kenbrell Thompkins, Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Michael Hoomanawanui and James Develin were the starting skill-position players.
12:47 p.m.: The key for the Patriots will be stopping A.J. Green and Geno Atkins. Those are by far the best players on the Bengals and if those guys are limited, the Patriots should be able to take this one pretty easily.
Luckily for New England, Atkins has spent the majority of his time on the right side of the line, meaning Logan Mankins will be responsible for limiting the All-Pro.
The Patriots can either choose to keep Talib on the left side of the field and let Cincinnati dictate pass coverage matchups or they can move the No. 1 cornerback around the field to shadow Green. When Talib is on Green, he’ll likely be in single coverage. When Alfonzo Dennard is on Green, he’ll have help from Steve Gregory and Devin McCourty.
12:20 p.m.: It will be interesting to see who the two receivers will be for the Patriots in 12 (one running back, two tight ends) and 21 (two running backs, one tight end) personnel on Sunday. There are three possibilities. They could continue to roll with Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins and use that as a way to limit Danny Amendola’s snaps. They could also go with Amendola and Edelman or Thompkins and Amendola.
The wild card would be to have Aaron Dobson as a top two receiver, but given his lack of reps in two-receiver sets in Weeks 2, 3 and 4, that would be a surprise. I expect all four receivers to get a generous amount of snaps with Rob Gronkowski, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen out and Zach Sudfeld gone. Tom Brady should be able to spread the ball around.
11:38 a.m.: The Patriots will have five active wide receivers on Sunday afternoon. Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman and Josh Boyce will all be suiting up for New England.
Matthew Slater, Austin Collie, Stevan Ridley, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Barker, Steve Beauharnais and Tavon Wilson are the team’s inactives.
The Bengals will be without DE Michael Johnson, CB Leon Hall, Mike Pollak, Tanner Hawkinson, Rex Burkhead, Ryan Whalen and Brandon Ghee.
10:15 a.m.:Multiple reports suggest Danny Amendola will be suiting up for the Patriots this afternoon, but Jay Glazer of FOX Sports says the receiver’s reps will be limited.
Either way, that’s good news for an offense that has missed Amendola.
8 a.m. ET: It didn’t really seem possible, but the Patriots will be down another offensive starter on Sunday.
With Stevan Ridley already ruled out against the Bengals, now would be the perfect time for Danny Amendola to make his triumphant return. Amendola traveled with the team to Cincinnati, but he was listed as questionable on the injury report with a groin injury.
Amendola has not played in a game since Week 1, when he tore his groin midway through the second quarter. He has practiced ever since and has continued to look better with each week.
LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden are expected to take the lion’s share of Ridley’s carries. Bolden starred in Week 3, while Blount shined in Week 4. Ridley is dealing with a knee injury.
Stay here all morning for the latest updates on Patriots-Bengals. Rob Gronkowski, Tavon Wilson and Ridley have been ruled out. Matthew Slater was listed as doubtful on Friday’s injury report. Amendola, Bolden, Aaron Dobson, Dont’a Hightower, Jerod Mayo, Kenbrell Thompkins, Sebastian Vollmer and Leon Washington were listed as questionable. Kyle Arrington and Will Svitek were listed as probable.