Patriots Defense Shines Again, Defeat Bengals 34-13

CINCINNATI, OH — On Sunday afternoon, the New England Patriots defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by a final score of 34-13. 

After a week of speculation and accusations surrounding their organization on the cusp of another “Spygate” scandal, the Patriots left the rumors at the door when they rolled passed the Bengals with relative ease. 

While the final score is indicative of a blowout, that wasn’t necessarily the case, as this game was truly a story of two halves. In the first half, the Bengals looked to be giving the Patriots a real run for their money. 

In the first quarter, Tom Brady and Andy Dalton traded off with opening score drives for their teams. Just 3:16 into the game, Brady connected with running-back James White on a short dump-off that turned into a 23-yard score. However, 9 plays and 75 yards later, Andy Dalton hooked up with tight end Cethan Carter for an 8-yard touchdown conversion.

 

After both teams mirrored each other with field goals, it was the Patriots’ special teams that cashed in with a big turnover, recovering a muffed punt by Bengals’  Alex Erickson. This punt was a crucial momentum shift, as with only seconds to go in the first half, Nick Folk struck on a 46-yard kick, guiding the Patriots into the half with a 13-10 lead. 

The second half tells a whole different tale and shows why “The Boogeymen” are worthy of their name. Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson both stepped up with major afternoons, picking off Andy Dalton two times each. All four interceptions were instrumental in the Pats win, but it was Gillmore’s 64-yard pick-six in the third quarter that gave New England a commanding 27-10 lead, and ultimately put the game away.

Brady might not have had the best day offensively (15/29, 128 yards, 2 TD’s), but he did manage to make history for his historic legacy. After finding N’Keal Harry in the endzone on a 7-yard score in the third, Brady momentarily has found himself standing alone in 2nd place for the most career passing touchdowns at 538. More importantly, Brady is now only one touchdown away from eclipsing Peyton Manning for the all-time touchdown record.

By winning today, the New England Patriots (11-3) have officially clinched a playoff berth for the 2019 playoffs, extending their streak of postseason appearances to 11 straight seasons. The Pats will be going back home next week to face their division foes, the Buffalo Bills. 

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