Best and Worst: Patriots 35, Bengals 17
Best and Worst: Patriots vs. Bengals
FOXBORO -- Here are the best and worst things to come from the Patriots' victory over the Bengals Sunday.
LONGEST SHORT RUN OF BRADY’S CAREER
On the Patriots first drive of the game, Tom Brady scurried around for about eight seconds with no pressure before toddling out of bounds with a 2-yard gain.
BEST EXAMPLE OF WHY YOU SWALLOW HARD AND PAY HIM
Dont'a Hightower, lined up to the offensive left, fired off the ball at the snap, flattened out behind the line of scrimmage and caught Gio Bernard from behind spinning him down for a loss. It was an example of the power, smarts, speed and aggressiveness of the Patriots free-agent-to-be that can’t be allowed to leave.
On the Bengals fourth-and-goal from the Patriots 1 in the second quarter, Hightower (and defensive end Chris Long) both ruined the play by driving their men into the path of Bengals running back Gio Bernard.
AND THE TOPPER
On second-and-18 from their own 8, the Bengals called for a deep drop from Andy Dalton. Hightower sniffed the slow-developing play and -- having no coverage responsibilities -- burst through the A-gap and sacked Dalton. It was the second forced safety in two weeks for Hightower.
IT’S WHY I CALL HIM 'LaSMELL,' MIKE
Brandon LaFell got the Bengals a go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, beating Malcolm Butler on a skinny post to put Cincy up 14-10.
TIGHT END BONANZA
After a safety made the score 14-12 Cincy in the third, Brady went to Gronk and Martellus Bennett on six of the next seven plays for 117 yards and a touchdown as the Patriots went ahead 25-14.
BULLRUSH OF THE DAY
Rookie Elandon Roberts took off on an A-Gap blitz, greeted personal protector Jeremy Hill and walked Hill back into Andy Dalton’s lap until Hill tackled Roberts, drawing a hold.
HEADSCRATCHER OF THE DAY
On a third-and-12 midway through the second quarter, the Patriots opted to hand to James White on a draw rather than throw the football, a move that seemed exceedingly cautious and drew hoots from people who hoot.
BEST IMITATION OF A SPEED BUMP
Bengals linebacker Vontzaze Burfict came on a second-level blitz and just walked over the cut block of Patriots running back James White in the second quarter, leading to a sack.
'TIME TO WORRY' MOMENT
Stephen Gostkowski hooked an extra point in the third quarter making that his fourth kick missed this season.