By Austin Payne
In wake of this weeks supposed cheating controversy regarding the New England Patriots that involved supposedly filming the Bengals game last week illegally, the two teams ironically enough faced off against one another this Sunday.
The outcome was likely ah…how do i put this nicely…as expected? The Patriots essentially demolished the 1-13 Bengals, who very quickly have become one of the worst teams in the league and have all of us football fans questioning whether or not it’s time for them to finally start fresh.
The Patriots finished them off with a final score of 34-13, which you would think implies a good offensive performance, but across the board the statistics for New England’s offense were rather underwhelming as a whole. There have obviously been concerns recently pertaining to the play of Tom Brady, and whether or not this lackluster performance is due to his age and him finally “falling off the cliff” or if it’s simply due to the lack of weapons available on offense. (Brady’s 2019)
Simply put, the Patriots look nothing like what we expected them to on offense. Going into the season expecting maybe Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Julian Edelman, Philip Dorsett, rookie N’Keal Harry, and even Antonio Brown? What are they working with now? This week TB12’s leading receiver was yet again his ever so reliable check-down target, James White, who lead all receivers with only 49 yards. (Stats)
The run game was again suspect, and although Sony Michel had a decent game, his season as a whole has been lackluster. Against a team with one of the NFL’s worst defenses, we should expect better, no?
The defense undoubtedly leads the way for the Patriots at this point and will be crucial for their playoff success this season. If facing with a potent offense in one of their early matchups, this team could very well be in trouble and fail to live up to their prestigious expectations.
The Bengal’s on the other hand…well they have nothing to worry about, just go draft Joe Burrow, trade AJ Green, and you’ll be set to tank again for another year or two. The interesting questions between these two franchises almost all involve the Pats, because we can’t help but wonder…will they be punished for this supposedly innocent filming? Will this be the end of the Brady Era in New England? Could BB keep the dynasty going without him?
All of these things will likely be answered expeditiously in the offseason before the draft arrives, and it could finally be time that we see some major stir up in one of the leagues most consistent, and most elite franchises of all time.