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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Patriots Zone: Week Five

It has been a rough week for the New England Patriots, as the team was coming off one of its worst losses in the Bill Belichick era. The Patriots were embarrassed by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football, losing 41-14. Many questions were going through the minds of analysts and New England fans. Would the Patriots respond to the critics? The Cincinnati Bengals found out the hard way.
The Bengals were coming off their bye week and were expected to be prepared for this Patriots team. However, that did not seem to be the case as the Bengals were panicked and on their toes all night.
It was a game of miscues for the undefeated Bengals squad. Whether it was missed tackles, fumbles, or blown coverages; the Bengals really struggled.
Tom Brady and the struggling Patriots offense finally came alive. The team came out of the tunnel with a certain level of ferocity and passion that had been non-existent in prior weeks. The major difference seen last night was the performance of the offensive line. Protection for Brady, the past few weeks, had been so bad, it’s as if the quarterback was a deer in the headlights every possession.
The stellar blocking led to much more time to make decisions in the pocket and allowed Brady to look at all of his options when throwing the football. In addition, running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen were able to find holes and have success running all night. Both backs combined for 203 yards on the ground, as the Bengals defense has no answer for the attack.
The threat of the run opened up the play action fake, which Brady executes so well. The defense had to commit to stopping the run and, as a result, many Patriot receivers found themselves open all night. In order for New England’s offense to continue to flow, the balanced attack of the running and passing game must be executed.
Despite the lopsided victory, there were some negatives for the team. Although the offensive line performed well, they are still committing far too many penalties. The discipline needs to improve if the team is to continue to grow.
At times the man-to-man coverage of New England’s defense struggled as well. Cornerback Alfonzo Denard played in his first game of the year, as he has been fighting a shoulder injury. The eye test showed that Denard was clearly rusty and could not keep up with opposing receivers. The Bengals receivers also had many dropped passes and missed opportunities. Most notably a dropped pass in the end zone by tight end Jermaine Gresham when the game was still close.
The game ball has to go to Darrelle Revis. He completely shut out Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green and provided lock down coverage all game long.
There is still a long way to go this season, and the Patriots still have a lot to prove. If the offensive line keeps improving and the team continues to play with heart, New England will be in good shape. The team now travels to Buffalo to take on the Bills, who are tied atop the division with the Patriots. The game is on Oct. 12 at 1:00 pm at Ralph Wilson stadium.