All week long prior to Sunday's game the talk had been centered around the demise of a future hall of fame quarterback and an offensive line that was considered by some in the know to be the worst in the league. At least for this week, that theory has been put on hold.
Tom Brady and his offense looked by far the best it has all season. In a balanced attack that was just what the doctor ordered, Brady,went 23-35 for 292 and a touchdown, and maybe more importantly, was protected very well by his offensive line that played aggressive and inspired. On the ground they were led by Steven Ridley (27-113 yds.1td) and Shane Vereen (9-90 yds.) amassing the bulk of the teams 220 via the rush in the teams 43-17 victory against previously unbeaten Cincinnati in front of 68,756 rowdy fans at Gillette Stadium.
Eight different players caught passes led by Rob Gronkowski (6-100 yds. 1 td.) in his best effort thus far, and Tim Wright (5-85 yds. 1 td.) exceeding by one his total catches on the year up to that point.
Much like the offense, the defense righted the ship after a less than stellar performance after the previous week. Jerrod Mayo led a containing unit with 8 tackles and the secondary, who at times looked a bit shaken, was able to neutralize any severe damage by the Bengals tandem of A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu. But make no mistake, the victory Monday was a by product of the offense. Green and Sanu each caught scoring passes and just when you felt the momentum shifting, New England was able to answer with scoring drives of their own. The Bengals were no match for the Patriots on this given Monday. For the moment, anyway, the sky is crystal clear.
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