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Socci: Patriots' Balanced Attack Pays Off Huge Against Bengals

BOSTON (CBS) - Quarterback Tom Brady returned to vintage form for the Patriots Sunday night in a 43-17 victory over the Bengals.

Brady completed 23 of his 35 passes (66 percent), and threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns -- the latter two stats his highest marks of the season.  For one game anyway, it looked like the Patriots passing attack is finally up to speed.

However, it was the effectiveness of the running game that really stood out.

Stevan Ridley ran 27 times for 113 yards, while Shane Vereen also contributed 90 yards on the ground. All in all, the Patriots attempted 35 passes and had 39 run plays, the type of balance that's nearly impossible to defend.

The voice of the Patriots Bob Socci spoke with 98.5 The Sports Hub's Toucher & Rich Monday morning about this very topic.

"I thought it was a well-balanced attack. We saw the Patriots use the power running game, with Stevan Ridley running with a lot of draws and delays. I thought Shane Vereen picked up a couple of big plays, whether it was yardage on third down that simply gave the Patriots an opportunity to establish field position, or picking up a third-and-long as he did in one instance," said Socci.

"In the passing game they utilized all the guys that they could. Brandon LaFell got into it, not as much as Tim Wright, but nonetheless it was LaFell, it was Wright, it was Gronkowski. That can't be overstated, having Gronk closer to the Gronk of old and the impact he can have on the offense."

The offensive line also played exceptional, and you can't have a balanced attack without that unit playing well. Tim Wright, the "move tight end" acquired in the Logan Mankins trade, also had somewhat of a coming out party.

"When those guys block you can spread things out and utilize those two tight ends. We saw last night why the Patriots were interested in Tim Wright coming off the year he had last season with Tampa Bay."

The Patriots were called for 12 penalties last night, which Bob says is something they have to clean up and clean up soon.

Listen below for the full discussion!

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