By Logan Reever
Breathe a sigh of relief New England. The Pats are fine. As if there was any doubt. The Patriots got a resounding 43-17 blowout win against the previously undefeated Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night. Thus bringing back the stability that the organization and their fans have been accustomed to since the Robert Kraft era began in 1994.
A first possession touchdown drive, ending with a Ridley rushing touchdown set the mood for the night. Everything was fast, accurate, and most importantly efficient on the offensive end. By game’s send, Brady’s Bunch had put up 43 points. The Bengals came into the game with a league-low in points allowed per game, just over 11. Number 12 also achieved the milestone of surpassing 50,000 passing yards in his career in the first quarter. Making him the sixth player in NFL history to reach the mark. The reason for the bounce back in the offense was the offensive line. With Brady standing comfortably in the pocket against a tough Cincinnati front seven. As well as a completely unexpected 220 yards on the ground. The line’s success can be attributed to rookie Center Bryan Stork and the play of the Guards, Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly. Stork, the FSU product, showed great composure and poise in a tough road environment in the beat down just a week ago and showed again on Sunday night that the Center job is his.
When Logan Mankins left, most fans couldn’t believe it. The confusion and anger increased more and more as the line continued to show problems. The anger was completely forgotten about ten minutes into the game. Brady’s 17 yard strike to Tim Wright got all of New England saying “I love this guy!” And I know what we were all thinking when the offense ran some screens his way *cough cough Hernandez.* He has all the potential to be. At 6’4, 220 pounds, and the athleticism to diversify this offense like the one just a few years ago.
Let’s be honest, last week was out of the norm for the Patriots defense. With the Chiefs having 303 yards of offense by the time we hit halftime. Back home, with the fans on their side, it was a completely different story. Andy Dalton was rattled to say the least, the run game never got going (79 yards total), and Darrelle Revis held his own against AJ Green. Multiple times it was visible that the Bengals offense was out of sort and needed a timeout during the pre-snap but ran the play anyway. Further evidence of the youth and need for development that the team still needs.
But the man of the night was Tom Brady. Passing for just below 300 yards and two touchdowns and posting a 88.7 QBR (11.6 last week). This guy was ripped apart during the week and was the center of the ‘dynasty-ending’ talk. You don’t ever count out on Tom Brady. Whether it’s 2000 or 2014, he’ll always prove you wrong. He was passionate, emotional, and loved every second.
All is well in the kingdom once again. Fans can go back to worshipping their beloved team again. All it took was 60 minutes and a Patriots win. NBC broadcaster Chris Collinsworth said it best in the telecast, “Nobody was gonna come in here and beat the Patriots tonight.”