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Patriots Live Blog: Pats Dominate Bengals In 43-17 Win

Final, 43-17: Jimmy Garoppolo took a couple of kneeldowns, and this one's over. What an unbelievable response by the Patriots in this game, as they turned in a thorough beatdown of a quality opponent. For postgame coverage, check out:

Patriots Rally Around Tom Brady, As QB Fights Back After Report Of Unrest With Team

Four Ups, Four Downs: Brady, Belichick Brilliant In 43-17 Victory Over Bengals

Fourth quarter, 2:55, 43-17: As the offense took the field, the fans once again chanted in unison: "Bra-dy! Bra-dy!" Perhaps inspired by the roar (or more likely, just running the plays that were called) Brady took to the air a number of times on the drive, connecting with Aaron Dobson for a 16-yard catch-and-run and hitting Vereen over the middle on a third down to move the sticks.

The drive eventually stalled at the 17-yard line, and Gostkowksi kicked his fifth field goal of the night.

Fourth quarter, 7:06, 40-17: Another forced turnover by New England, this one from Kyle Arrington who punched the ball right out of the arms of Dane Sanzenbacher. Duron Harmon recovered the fumble before falling out of bounds, and the offense is coming back onto the field.

Fourth quarter, 7:53, 40-17: A lot of Patriots are having big nights, and Stephen Gostkowski is one of them. He just drilled a 47-yard field goal, making him a perfect 4-for-4 on the night.

Fourth quarter, 12:14, 37-17 Patriots: Chandler Jones picked up a sack on a third-and-6, and the Bengals punted the ball away. It's just a clock watch now.

On major positive news for the Patriots, Darrelle Revis returned to the game on that drive. He'll probably come out now, with the game likely in hand by the time the Bengals get the ball back, but the fact that he's not seriously injured can allow everyone in New England to take a deep breath.

Fourth quarter, 14:54, 37-17 Patriots: Brady's play-action pass to LaFell on a slant was broken up, and the Pats settled for a field goal. They lead by 20 again.

That fumbled kickoff really looms large. It completely killed Cincinnati's chances here.

End of third quarter, 34-17 Patriots: The New England offense is once again making mincemeat out of the Cincinnati defense.

This time, it was a 43-yard run by Stevan Ridley up the left sideline that did most of the damage. Brady just connected with Edelman for a four-yard gain, so it'll be third-and-3 from the Cincinnati 5-yard line when the fourth quarter begins.

Third quarter, 3:43, 34-17 Patriots: The play stands. That was a weird one. Regardless, the Pats' lead is cut to 17 points. It's still a long climb if the Bengals want to get back into this one.

Third quarter, 3:43, 34-16 Patriots: On the first play that Revis is off the field, Dalton goes right after Revis' replacement, Logan Ryan. A.J. Green hauled in a touchdown pass, though replay may show he did not catch it. It's truly a tough call, as Green was shifting the ball against his leg while failing out of bounds. We're awaiting word on the review.

Third quarter, 3:59, 34-10 Patriots: In potentially upsetting news on a night that is mostly full of celebration for New England, Darrelle Revis is down on the field.

He just made the tackle on Jeremy Hill, and looked to take a knee either in the head or shoulder. That doesn't seem to be the problem though, as it's Revis' left hamstring that is drawing the attention of the training staff.

Third quarter, 6:00, 34-10 Patriots: Well ... the game's now over.

Brandon Tate made the questionable decision to return the ball out of the end zone, and Brandon Bolden put his helmet right on the football at the 10-yard line. He knocked it loose, Kyle Arrington scooped it up and took it in for the score, and the Patriots now lead by 24 points.


Third quarter, 6:06 27-10 Patriots: That drive was just as beautiful as the first one of this game, and it ends with Rob Gronkowski catching a pass over the middle, breaking a weak diving tackle attempt from Nelson, and waltzing into the end zone before smashing a spike to the turf. The ball sailed into the stands after the spike, and the Pats now lead by 17.

Shane Vereen was the star of the drive, picking up 33 yards on two carries, while Tim Wright also caught a pass for 25 yards.

In total, it was a 10-play, 86-yard drive, and it came at gut-check time. The Patriots answered the bell.

Third quarter, 11:27, 20-10 Patriots: The Bengals followed up the big return with a quick-strike, one-play touchdown drive, with Dalton connecting with Sanu up the left seam with Dennard trailing in coverage.

We've got ourselves a football game.

Third quarter, 11:32, 20-3 Patriots: So much for the putaway drive. The Bengals were not only able to stop the Patriots, but Adam Jones returned the punt all the way back to the New England 37-yard line. Jones was pretty much off to the races from the get-go there.

Third quarter, 14:07, 20-3 Patriots: The Patriots' second half starts with forcing a three-and-out, after Gresham dropped another pass on first down. After a 5-yard run, Dalton threw deep up the left sideline to James Wright, but the ball sailed out of bounds.

Brady's offense now gets the ball with a chance to sort of put the game out of reach. It's early, yes, but a touchdown drive here would be hard for Cincy to recover from.

Third quarter, 14:55, 20-3 Patriots: Tate took it out of the end zone and out to the 18-yard-line. The third quarter is underway.

Devin McCourty remains out of this game, after he suffered a rib injury.

Halftime, 20-3 Patriots: How about some halftime stats?!

The Pats have run 42 plays for 256 yards -- that's 146 through the air and 110 on the ground.

The Bengals have run 25 plays for 121 yards -- just 63 through the air and 58 on the ground.

Brady is 11-for-19 for 153 yards and a touchdown (no picks), and he also has 13 rushing yards on four carries.

Dalton is 6-for-11 for 63 yards, no TDs and no INTs.

Ridley has 49 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, while Vereen has 48 yards on six carries.

Giovani Bernard has 53 yards on 10 carries.

Gronkowski and Wright have 60 receiving yards each, with Wright catching a TD.

Sanu leads the Bengals with just 29 receiving yards. A.J. Green has been held to two catches for 19 yards, and he also has a fumble (forced by Revis).

Halftime, 20-3 Patriots: Well, the Patriots didn't get into the end zone, but it looked promising after a 19-yard completion to Gronkowski on first down. Yet a short Brady scramble, an incompletion when everyone was covered, and a Ridley run that was stopped at the 1-yard line set up a fourth-and-goal from the 1. The Pats elected to kick the easy field goal, and they now lead by 17.

The Bengals ran one play after the kickoff and the clock ran down to halftime. What an impressive first half from the Patriots on both sides of the ball. Not many people saw that one coming.

Second quarter, :49, 17-3 Patriots: Andy Dalton completed a short pass over the middle to A.J. Green, but Darrelle Revis ripped the ball loose and forced a fumble. Jamie Collins recovered it and lateraled it to Alfonzo Dennard, and Dennard returned it inside the 5-yard line.

However, the officials ruled that Collins fumbled the ball, and inside the final two minutes of a half, a team can't advance a fumble. So it will be first-and-10 for New England at the Cincinnati 25-yard-line.

Second quarter, 1:12, 17-3 Patriots: Brady's pass to Gronkowski on third down was behind the tight end and low, and though Gronk got his big Hamburger Helper mitts on it, he was unable to haul it in. So the Pats settled for a field goal and quickly got back those three points.

Now, the Patriots D has to prevent Cincinnati from pulling off the dreaded "double score," aka scoring before halftime and scoring coming out of the half.

Second quarter, 2:00, 14-3 Patriots: The Pats are once again driving, looking to score for the first time this quarter. It'll be second-and-10 from the Cincy 37-yard line coming out of the two-minute warning.

Second quarter, 4:33, 14-3 Patriots: Jerome Boger's crew really is struggling to control this game, and as a result, the game has gotten slightly out of hand. We'll recap that in a moment, but here's what you need to know: The Patriots came up with a red-zone stop, and the Bengals settled for a 23-yard field goal. It's 14-3 Pats.

And now a brief recap of that drive:

  • Alfonzo Dennard was penalized for defensive holding, a questionable call.
  • Mohamed Sanu appeared to make a catch and then fumble. The back judge 10 feet from the play threw his bean bag to signal it was a turnover, but the side judge came running in from 30 yards away blowing the play dead. The side judge was right -- Sanu never caught it -- but half of the players continued playing. Dominique Easley threw a block, but because the play was technically dead, he was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. Again, the back judge thought the play was alive, so it's hard to fault Easley for thinking the play was alive.
  • Jermaine Gresham let an easy touchdown slip through his hands when he drew Jamie Collins in 1-on-1 coverage.
  • Dennard was again called for a questionable holding penalty, giving Cincy a first down in the red zone.
  • The Bengals were confused on third down, and the Pats came up with a stop, leading to the field goal.

Second quarter, 9:07, 14-0 Patriots: A chop block called on Dan Connolly, combined with Brandon LaFell giving up on a deep route, stalled that drive before it could get going. To make matters worse, Jamie Collins was penalized for unnecessary roughness for his hit on Brandon Tate after Tate called for a fair catch.

It'll be first-and-10 at the 38-yard line for Andy Dalton, who is 4-for-7 for just 37 yards tonight.

Second quarter, 11:39, 14-0 Patriots: The Bengals looked all out of sorts on that drive, as they had absolutely no clue what to do on second-and-10, resulting in a frenzied four-yard loss. Following a false start, the Bengals faced a third-and-19, and Dalton threw short to Jeremy Hill, who was brought down well short of the sticks.

Edelman was swallowed up immediately upon catching the punt, and the Patriots take over first-and-10 at their own 25-yard line.

Second quarter, 13:53, 14-0 Patriots: The Pats punted for the first time of the night, though they nearly didn't have to. Brady lobbed a picture-perfect deep ball to Edelman on a quick one-step drop, but No. 11's diving attempt came up centimeters short as the ball bounced off his hands.

Brady was flagged for intentional grounding on third down at midfield when he was under heavy pressure, and the Pats punted. A mini-fracas broke out after Brandon Tate's short punt return, but no flags were thrown.

It would appear as though Jerome Boger's crew made up for the soft penalty on Gronkowski by calling a soft defensive pass interference penalty on Reggie Nelson. The safety hit Danny Amendola as the receiver was diving to the turf, so the call was awfully confusing. Nevertheless, Nelson hit Amendola hard enough to knock the receiver out of the game, as Amendola headed to the locker room with the training staff. We'll keep an eye on that.

It's first-and-10 for Cincy at their own 26-yard line.

End of first quarter, 14-0 Patriots: Brady was sacked on the final play of the first quarter, which came just after Rob Gronkowski was flagged 15 yards for gently bumping Reggie Nelson facemask-to-facemask while jawing after a play. It was the softest of soft calls, and it set the Patriots back a good deal while they were driving.

Still, the Patriots gained 152 yards in that quarter, compared to the Bengals' 42, and for the first time in a long time, they're in control of this football game.

It'll be second-and-17 from the New England 19-yard line when the second quarter begins.

First quarter, 3:12, 14-0 Patriots: Two drives, two touchdowns for Tom Brady's offense.

This one went to Tim Wright, who simply ran directly up the left seam on first-and-10 from the 17-yard line. Brady hit the back shoulder, and Wright went up and made the catch.

Brady nearly got intercepted on that drive, when he threw a pass as if Edelman was going to break straight toward the sideline but the receiver broke back a few yards. But Brady followed that play by hitting Gronkowski over the middle, and the big man went rumbling for a huge 27-yard gain.

Brady also passed the 50,000 passing yards mark on that drive. But more importantly, the Patriots look like a force on offense.

The crowd at Gillette is all sorts of fired up tonight, with rousing supportive chants for Brady filling the stadium and creating a truly raucous atmosphere. Gillette is not known for being this loud, so it speaks to how fired up the fans are to finally see Brady be Brady.

The QB is feeding off it, too, as he and Julian Edelman played hot potato with the football on the sideline before Brady finally delivered a strong spike before hugging everybody in sight.

First quarter, 5:45, 7-0 Patriots: The Bengals were driving, and things looked bad for the Patriots. And then Darrelle Revis picked off Andy Dalton. It was an incredible display of athleticism to pick off the pass, but unfortunately for Revis, the play didn't count. He was penalized for illegal contact (a legitimate call, in this new era of you-can't-touch-the-receivers), while Clint Boling was penalized for illegal hands to the face.

So the drive continued, but the Bengals got nothing going (Revis again had great coverage on A.J. Green on the following play), so Nugent came on to attempt a 52-yard field goal. It was right on the money ... except it came up about 3 yards short.

The Pats still lead 7-0, and Brady gets the ball at the 42-yard line. Look out.

First quarter, 10:03, 7-0 Patriots: That was awesome. Simply, awesome.

After hearing about his football mortality and how much of a mess his team was, Tom Brady came out in full-on "Screw You" mode and engineered a dominant 80-yard touchdown drive. It started with a 20-yard completion to Brandon LaFell, it included a six-yard Tom Brady scramble and a 30-yard completion to Tim Wright, and it ended with a Stevan Ridley touchdown plunge from one yard out. Ridley ran for 20 yards on four carries on that drive, while Brady ran for 10 and threw for 50.

It was vintage Brady, and the Pats lead early.

First quarter, 15:00: Mike Nugent's opening kick sailed deep into the end zone, and the Patriots will start first-and-10 from their own 20 after the touchback.

8:26 p.m.: The night gets off to an unfriendly start for the Patriots, as the Bengals won the toss and elected to defer. That's the Pats' patented move, but they'll be starting with the football tonight when this game kicks off shortly.

8:20 p.m.: We're just about closing in on kickoff at Gillette.

7:31 p.m.: With the rest of the games just about finished around the NFL, the Patriots are now looking up at the Bills in the AFC East. The Bills, thanks to three missed field goals from Detroit kicker Alex Henery, were able to pick up a big win on the road today, and they're now 3-2.

The Dolphins were on their bye week, so they remain tied with the Pats at 2-2, while the Jets are close to the end of one of the most embarrassing losses of the Rex Ryan era, currently a 31-0 thumping in San Diego to fall to 1-4 on the season.

That means that if the Patriots win tonight, they'll be 3-2 and will be heading to Buffalo next Sunday for a first-place battle with the Bills. If the Patriots lose tonight, they'll be 2-3, and that trip to Buffalo will be that much more important.

7:12 p.m.: The inactives have been announced.

Inactive for the Patriots will be:

Nate Ebner, S
Cameron Fleming, OL
Josh Kline, OL
Dont'a Hightower, LB
James White, RB
Zach Moore, DL
Malcolm Butler, CB

Inactive for the Bengals will be:

Marvin Jones, WR
Vontaze Burfict, LB
Brandon Thompson, DL
Rex Burkhead, RB
Will Clarke, DL
Kevin Zeitler, OL
Chris Lewis-Harris, DB

That means that Aaron Dobson is active for the Patriots, as is Alfonzo Dennard.

6:30 p.m.: For the first time in a very long time, tensions are high in Foxboro.

The Patriots are coming off one of the most embarrassing losses of the Bill Belichick era, the head coach is releasing statements to refuse reports of disagreements between players and coaches, and the future Hall of Fame quarterback is reportedly none too pleased with the way things are going.

All of this for a team that's 2-2 and can remain in a tie for first place if they win tonight.

It's quite an interesting phenomenon, the panic that spreads through the region whenever the Patriots lose, but this time it's certainly a bit different. Seemingly all of the issues plaguing the Patriots were on display last Monday night, and certainly not much got better on the short week.

So it's a huge night in Foxboro, as the Patriots can either silence the chaos by putting together a thorough game, or they can fan the flames by getting run out of the building on national TV for the second straight week.

It won't be an easy night for New England, because the Bengals are to be a legitimate contender. They're 3-0, and they're fresh and rested coming off a bye, and they'll be fired up to come into Gillette and give the Patriots all they've got.

We'll have everything in this game, from the inactives lists to the warmups and all the way from the opening kick through the final whistle, so check back early and often as the Patriots take the biggest test of this young season.

Read more from Michael Hurley by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.



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