The New England Patriots were handed their first loss of the season courtesy of the Cincinnati Bengals, and their first taste of defeat didn’t come in a very pretty manner.
Tom Brady and Co. struggled to move the chains all day, with Cincinnati limiting the Pats quarterback to just 197 yards and putting a stop to Brady’s streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
It was a poor offensive showing for New England on Sunday, but does the fault lie with the Bengals’ stout defense or the Patriots’ offense simply not getting the job done?
The Bengals came out swinging, sacking Brady on his first pass attempt and taking him down a total of four times on the afternoon. Cincinnati also held the Pats without a touchdown for the first time since 2009, even keeping them from putting up six points on a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line during the fourth quarter. The Bengals defense remained relentless throughout the game and halted the Pats hopes for a comeback victory on their last drive, with Adam Jones picking off Brady inside the Cincinnati 5-yard line.
While the Bengals were getting all of the big stops they needed, the Pats offense wasn’t making it overly challenging for them. Brady never seemed to get on the same page with his receivers, and despite the return of Danny Amendola, the signal caller completed only 18 of 38 passes on the day, finishing with a measly 52.2 passer rating. Brady struggled to connect with his receivers throughout the game, but their rushing game wasn’t much better. LeGarrette Blount accounted for 51 yards on 12 carries, while Brandon Bolden only managed 24 yards on the ground.