There probably aren’t many people who picked the Cincinnati Bengals to beat the undefeated New England Patriots in Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon, but that’s exactly what they did. It was not something you would expect from a team that lost to the Cleveland Browns last week.
Their defense was the biggest reason why they won. The Bengals’ defense is getting a reputation for taking down some of the NFL’s best quarterbacks. It is a very good reputation to have, especially if they want to make it to the playoffs this year.
They stopped the Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, and now the Patriots’ Tom Brady. Rodgers was 26-for-43 with 244 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Bengals, while Brady was 18-for-38 with 197 yards, an interception, and was sacked four times. The Bengals’ defense kept the pressure on Brady and kept him out of the end zone, ending his streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
The defense played so well that head coach Marvin Lewis gave a game ball to defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, something he normally does not do. Lewis was very impressed with Zimmer’s defense and said it was a great accomplishment that deserved recognition.
It was a sack from defensive tackle Geno Atkins on Brady’s first pass attempt that seemed to shake him for the rest of the game. A shaky Brady and a good Bengals defense did not mean good things for the Patriots on Sunday. The defense was even especially key with the Bengals’ offense not playing up to their potential and only scoring one touchdown. It was their only touchdown in two games as they were unable to get in the end zone against the Browns last week.
If the Bengals’ defense continues to play this way and not just against the elite quarterbacks in the NFL like Rodgers and Brady, then they will have a good chance of going to the playoffs this season. Their offense may need a little improvement but with a defense like that, a team doesn’t always need much offense. It’s good to have a backup plan though.
The Bengals did something they’ve been hoping to do all week — get people to stop talking about Brady and start talking about how good their defense is. That’s exactly what they accomplished on Sunday.