Patriots: What we learned in an ugly 13-6 loss to the Bengals

It may sound silly to panic over a team that’s 4-1, but that’s where we’re at with the New England Patriots.

The Patriots lost their first game of the season to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, 13-6. It was, statistically speaking, their worst offensive showing since Week 14 of the 2006 season when the Miami Dolphins shut them out.

You have to give credit to the Bengals tough defense on Sunday, limiting Tom Brady to under 200 passing yards and Patriots running backs LeGarrette Blount and Brandon Bolden to a combined 75 rushing yards on 17 carries.

But let’s be honest, the Patriots offense hasn’t looked right since Week 1, and it hasn’t looked worse than it did on Sunday. What we learned in the loss:

Punt, Punt, Punt.
The Patriots had 12 drives against the Bengals, eight of which ended in a punt (three of which that were a three-and-out). Their first six drives of the game ended without a point on the scoreboard, as New England didn’t get its first points until a field goal with seconds remaining in the first half. Why so many punts? Take a look at the Patriots’ third-down efficiency for your answer: 1-for-12. The Pats didn’t establish a run game as Stevan Ridley was inactive for the game, and Brady and his receivers (Danny Amendola included) weren’t effective enough. Cincy clamped down on defense when it had to, including . . .

Fourth-quarter failure
. . . the Patriots’ blown chance at a touchdown from the 1-yard line. Fresh off a Bengals TD to go up 13-3, Brady wasted no time trying to answer. He found Aaron Dobson for 56 yards and then Amendola on the next play to give the Pats a 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line. After a Blount rush for no gain, Brady missed Nate Solder (yes, Nate Solder) on second down and Julian Edelman couldn’t hold onto it on third down. Bill Belichick elected to kick a field goal, and the hugely missed opportunity would come back to bite the Patriots on their final drive, when they got into field goal range but needed a touchdown to tie things up.

Defense shows up again
It’s official: The Patriots are now a defense-first team. While it may seem that way by default, the defense has done more than enough to earn praise. That goes for Sunday too. According to ESPN, before Sunday, the Patriots had won 63 straight games when allowing 13 points or fewer, dating back to 2001 against the Jets. The one touchdown they gave up came on Cincy’s fourth-down try from the 1-yard line – something Belichick didn’t have enough trust in his offense to try.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

International

Peaches Geldof's death was drugs-related, coroner rules

LONDON (Reuters) - The death of Peaches Geldof, the daughter of musician and Band Aid founder Bob Geldof, was drugs-related, a coroner ruled on Wednesday.The…

Local

Family, supporters gather in Brooklyn for Eric Garner…

Family members gathered on Wednesday for the funeral of Eric Garner, who died shortly after police put him in a banned chokehold as they arrested him.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…