Patriots

Former Bengal, Patriot Marquis Flowers opens up on the 'We're on to Cincinnati' game

Former Bengal, Patriot Marquis Flowers opens up on the 'We're on to Cincinnati' game

The New England Patriots weren't exactly in a great spot heading into Week 5 of the 2014 NFL season. The team was only 2-2 and was coming off a crushing 41-14 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football.

In that game, Tom Brady didn't look like his usual self. He had two picks, just 159 passing yards, and one touchdown pass that came when the team was already down 27-0. He was replaced late by Jimmy Garoppolo, who looked solid on the field. That led some to wonder if the Patriots dynasty was coming to an end.

Famously, after the game, Bill Belichick answered every question posed about the game with one simple response. "We're on to Cincinnati." The press conference went viral and put a spotlight on the Patriots' Sunday night clash with the Cincinnati Bengals.

That game ended up defining the season. The Patriots bounced back by smashing the Bengals by a final score of 43-17. Brady looked as strong as ever, and that was the first step for the Patriots to get back onto the Super Bowl path.

At least, that's how former Bengals linebacker Marquis Flowers remembers it. On Twitter, Flowers shared a brief memory of the game, including what his then-defensive coordinator said.

So, yeah. Clearly that type of hype up didn't work, especially since the Patriots were so desperate for a win at the time. And the "demise of the Patriots" storyline was clearly overblown considering that they've won three Super Bowls and appeared in a fourth since that game.

The D-coordinator's words and the headlines of the time make this an amusing anecdote that just makes the whole event that much better for the Patriots, in retrospect.

That said, It's easy to see why Flowers was able to laugh this off. Flowers was a part of the Patriots in 2017, so he has seen both sides of the "We're on to Cincinnati" game. Flowers likely enjoyed his time in New England, as he logged 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his best NFL season to date. He also got to play in the Super Bowl (although the Patriots fell in that game to the Philadelphia Eagles).

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Patriots Talk Podcast: Matt Cassel explains what it takes to earn Tom Brady's trust

Patriots Talk Podcast: Matt Cassel explains what it takes to earn Tom Brady's trust

Michael Bennett's suspension, Tom Brady's expectations, and the hierarchy in the AFC are among the topics Tom E. Curran and former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel discuss in the latest episode of Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast. 

2:46 — Tom Curran is joined by Matt Cassel to discuss the Patriots one-game suspension of Michael Bennett. How do organizations determine a punishment for altercations and how does a player acting out affect the rest of the team?

13:41 — Matt talks about the perfection Tom Brady expects on the field (from everyone) and how that relates to N'Keal Harry being reintroduced into the Patriots offense.

21:01 — Curran wonders what it is that new or young receivers consistently mess up as they try to learn the Patriots offense. Matt gets into the Xs and Os.

24:49 — Is 'laces out' really the golden rule when it comes to place kick holding? Cassel questions this andtalks about his experience as a holder.

29:31 — Tom and Matt give their picks for second-best team in the AFC. One of the contenders may shock you (hint — it's in the Patriots' division).

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Josh Gordon absent from Patriots practice, but Tom Brady could get familiar faces back

Josh Gordon absent from Patriots practice, but Tom Brady could get familiar faces back

FOXBORO — The Patriots could see some shuffling among their offensive weapons on Monday night down in Jersey.

Josh Gordon was not present at the start of Thursday's practice after suffering a knee injury against the Giants last week. Gordon didn't immediately leave for the locker room, instead taking a seat on the sideline stationary bike and pedaling for an extended period. But the fact that he wasn't around for the start of Thursday's workout could be an indication that he's facing an uphill climb to get on the field against the Jets.

The Patriots were without both Gordon and Phillip Dorsett for most of last week's game as Dorsett dealt with a hamstring injury. Dorsett was on the field Thursday and spoke to reporters Tuesday, showing some optimism that he wouldn't be unavailable for much longer.

Dorsett might only be one part of the reinforcements heading for Tom Brady's huddle Monday. Rex Burkhead — who missed the last two weeks and was limited in Week 4 with a foot injury — was also back on the practice fields Thursday. After rolling for 50 snaps with undrafted rookies Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski last week, the Patriots could have more veteran experience on the field in prime time at MetLife Stadium.

The Patriots could also have a couple new roster additions in uniform a few days from now. They signed tight ends Ben Watson and Eric Tomlinson this week, potentially adding enough depth to allow Josh McDaniels to roll with some of the two-tight end sets the Patriots have turned to in the past. Starter Matt LaCosse suffered a knee injury last week that kept him out of Thursday's practice and could keep him off the field on Monday, but Tomlinson and Watson could complement what Ryan Izzo gives the team as its top option at that position.

Tomlinson, in particular, is a fascinating addition in that he has the ability to play in the backfield as well as in traditional tight end roles. With both Patriots fullbacks — Jakob Johnson and James Develin — on injured reserve at the moment, perhaps Tomlinson sees fullback-style blocking assignments if he's in uniform against the Jets.

"He’s a bigger guy," Bill Belichick said Thursday. "Probably more of a . . . you know, bigger, has blocking ability. He has been in the backfield. He’s played on the line of scrimmage. So, I don’t know. We’ll see how that all plays out."

Watson, meanwhile, would likely serve in more of a "move" tight end role if LaCosse can't go.

If Brady looks around the huddle Monday night and sees Dorsett, Watson and Burkhead — to go along with old standbys Julian Edelman and James White — then that would probably qualify as a welcome sight for a quarterback who so values experience.

THURSDAY'S INJURY REPORT    
WR Josh Gordon Knee/Ankle DNP
TE Matt LaCosse Knee DNP
RB Rex Burkhead Foot Limited
S Patrick Chung Heel/Chest Limited
WR Phillip Dorsett Hamstring Limited
WR Julian Edelman Chest Limited

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