Game Recap: Patriots vs. Bengals

Make no mistake, that was a big, BIG, win for the Patriots today.  I was pretty confident that the Patriots would pull out a close one, but I never expected the shellacking that they delivered on the Bengals.  We’ve covered the losses of Warren, Mankins, and Bodden ad nauseum on this blog.  I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve raised concerns about our young defense.  Today, the Patriots proved exactly why all that pre-season chatter by idiot bloggers like myself and the media at large doesn’t mean a thing.  All that matters is what happens on the field.  So with some big hits, a couple of touchdown throws, a big interception, and a kickoff return for 7 points, the Patriots effectively told all of the doubters…
I’m sure you all watched the game, as it was nationally televised, so I won’t go into a blow by blow recap.  Here’s the salient points to take away from this afternoon’s contest.  If you can even call it that…

#1 – Devin McCourty is fo’ real. I know that many Pats fan, myself included, were less than enamored with our 1st round choice.  We were hoping for a deadly pass-rusher or an explosive wide receiver like Dez Bryant.  Like usual, Bill Belichick knew what he was doing.  McCourty looked fantastic covering Terrell Owens in his first professional game.  The Bengals were clearly intending to abuse McCourty, targeting Owens early.  Devin closed the cover on that playbook early, as he solidified himself as a legit NFL starting cornerback.
#2 – The defense is explosive. It’s far to early to start crowning the defense just yet, but they looked really good against a powerful Cincy offense.  There’s been a lot of concern about how the Pats’ lack of experience on defense would lead to mental lapses and big mistakes; something that rarely happened when the Patriots were a veteran team.  However, what this defense lacks in experience, they make up for in explosiveness.  At some point, experience goes out the window and you just have to make some plays.  The Patriots were sorely lacking in playmakers the past two seasons, and that seems to be something that has been resolved.
#3 – Brady has quite the arsenal at his disposal. I don’t know how many of you caught the last season of 24, but towards the end, Jack Bauer snaps and goes on a rampage.  He dons some crazy body armor, including a face shield, and mows down everyone in his way.  After the ACL surgery, after last years locker room meltdown, after all the contract drama, after all the negativity that’s circulated this off-season, it feels like it might be time for Tom Brady to go on his rampage.  Moss, Welker, Tate, Hernandez, Gronskowski – that’s just too many targets for any defensive backfield to contain. He had three TD throws today, and likely would have had more if it weren’t for a defensive TD, a special teams TD, and Belichick clearly easing up a bit in the second half.   I don’t think we’ll see 50 TD’s again from Brady, but opposing defenses have reason to be soiling their undergarments just like President Logan.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.