Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick Silence Their Critics
The New England Patriots silenced their critics and in a big way by defeating The Cincinnati Bengals 41-17 on Sunday night. As bad as the Patriots have been in the first four weeks of this season, the complete opposite happened in this game. New England came into this game with one of the worst offenses in the league and Cincinnati was really supposed to have an easy time of it. Many of the critics expected a game like the week before when the Patriots got blown out by the Kansas City Chiefs 41-14 on Monday night.
It was a very rough week after that loss and the media had a field day questioning Belichick’s coaching decisions and, questioning Brady’s status as an elite quarterback. So bad was the Medias scrutiny that even the national stage got involved with reports that Brady was unhappy with his personnel, and unhappy that the patriots were basically leaving him out to dry. The offensive line took the brunt of the criticism by not giving Brady enough time to throw, which in turn gave Brady his worst start the beginning of the season for a long time. Everything was put under a microscope, the quarterback, the coaching, the offensive coordinator, the defense, and the overall play calling by the Patriot coaching Staff, including Belichick himself.
But all that scrutiny was silenced and it all started right away in the first quarter. The Patriots, especially Tom Brady, came out fired up and Brady and the offense scored two touchdowns in their first two possessions. Clearly this was a different team than in the first four weeks. They were completing passes, the running game was going, and things seemed to really be gelling for the Patriots. Even Brady himself got two first downs, one running on a pass play, and one on a quarterback sneak.
Ridley scored on a one yard touchdown run and Tim Wright, who was picked up in a trade for Logan Mankins to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, scored on a 17 yard pass play from Tom Brady, and picked up the Patriots second score of the game. Gostkowski added two field goals in the second quarter and the Patriots were up 20-3 after the first half.
In the second half the Bengals scored a touchdown with 11:32 left in the third, to come within ten points. But that’s as close they would get and at 6:11 tom Brady threw a sixteen yard pass to Gronkowski making the score 27-10. On the ensuing kickoff the Bengals fumbled the ball on the nine yard line and Kyle Arrington recovered it, and ran in for the touch down score making it 34-10 after the extra point.
Cincinnati did manage to score another touchdown before the end of the third quarter. Andy Dalton threw a 17 yard touchdown to A.J. Green, after Darrelle Revis , who had been covering him the whole night, went out on an injury play. Andy Dalton quickly took advantage of this, because Revis, up to this point had shut down A.J. green, Cincinnati’s top receiver. That would be all the scoring in the game for the Bengals and the Patriots added 3 more field goals in the fourth quarter winning 41-17.
It was quite a comeback win considering how bad the Monday night game was. And it just shows the resiliency of this team. The local Boston media was extremely rough after the Kansas City loss. And there was more mud slinging going on than at a monster truck rally. It was really strange listening to local sports radio on Monday morning. They were clamoring, retracting stories, stumbling, and putting foots in their mouth. Nobody knew what to do, because they probably had all their headlines written for the next day. They expected the Patriots to roll over and just get beat down by the undefeated Cincinnati Bengals. So they could continue their tirade from the previous weeks before.
We should give credit to Belichick once again for proving the critics wrong. And we should give extra credit to Tom Brady to come out and play the game that he did, because Brady bore the brunt of all the criticism in the previous weeks. To come out and play a game like that after all that’s happened was just truly amazing. I’m not sure most guys, even NFL quarterbacks, could handle that kind of pressure. But Brady did that and more proving his critics wrong once again.