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Bengals @ Pats

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STATS LLC Associated Press

Oct 12, 2016


CINCINNATI - Brandon LaFell won't have much insider intel to give his Cincinnati Bengals coaches and teammates before Sunday's game at Gillette Stadium.


LaFell, a former New England Patriots wideout, played just two seasons with the four-time Super Bowl champions. Besides, he knows head coach Bill Belichick is much too smart for that. He also knows the Patriots will be primed and ready for quarterback Tom Brady's home debut coming off suspension.


"If you think it was tough in Dallas, it's going to be even tougher up (there) in New England," LaFell said.


Yes, things were tough in Dallas, where the Cowboys ran roughshod over Cincinnati on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Two fourth-quarter touchdown catches by LaFell made the 28-14 final score respectable but did little to mask the Cowboys' dominance. The Bengals were dominated on both sides of the line of scrimmage as Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 134 yards.


LaFell knows a little something about how to respond to tough defeats. And the Bengals can attest to it. In 2014, New England was coming off bad losses to the Dolphins and Chiefs, sparking a nationwide narrative that the Patriots' dynasty was dead.


Behind a dominant performance by Brady, the Patriots flipped the script by routing the Bengals 43-17 at Gillette, setting the stage for another Super Bowl title.


"He doesn't lose in that stadium hardly ever," LaFell said. "It's going to be hard. But every phase of the game has to play hard. We have to start fast. Everybody has to do their job and hold each other accountable."


LaFell, who missed most of the preseason with a hand injury, appears to be getting comfortable in his new offense.


Through five games, LaFell has 21 catches for 276 yards and two touchdowns, which puts him on pace to have the finest season since 2011 by any Bengals receiver not named A.J. Green.


LaFell was signed as a free agent this past offseason to provide veteran cover for Green after the departures of Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, who were also free agents.


The Bengals don't expect LaFell to return to his 2014 form, when he had 74 catches for 953 yards and seven touchdowns for New England. But coming off an injury-riddled 2015 campaign, LaFell is getting more comfortable each week with quarterback Andy Dalton and first-year coordinator Ken Zampese.


"Things have been good with Brandon since he's been here," Dalton said. "Very confident in what he's able to do. He's a guy you can trust to make plays for you."


LaFell will need to make a few plays on Sunday against his former teammates.


Cincinnati (2-3) hasn't won at New England since 1986. The Patriots have won nine of 11 meetings at home.


Winning at Gillette Stadium would be a monumental task. But after the loss at Dallas, the Bengals need to respond. Falling to 2-4 would put Cincinnati in dire straits, especially in terms of contending in the AFC North and reaching the postseason for a sixth consecutive season.


"We've got to find a way to win games," LaFell said. "Even if it's a different way every week."


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The way the Pats are playing, the only way they'll lose is if they beat themselves.


:Pats: 34

:Bengals: 20

Edited by RazorStar

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Pats aren't losing again until maybe January or February and probably not then either. I know it sucks but they're fucking GOOD this year.

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.no, they arent that good and they wont last that long

Nice counter argument.

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thats all thats needed.

you dont have one either. All you know how to say is 'theyve been good,theyll be good'

well, they wont be in the end and I'll be right.

there is no logic you can use to support anything in a sports argument when Keenum looks like a real qb for 3 and a half qtrs and the Dolphins beat Steelers.

you just need to be right a majority of the time and I will be

Let me provide a legitimate argument.

Bill Belichick, as evidenced time and time again by his ability to consistently churn out 12-4 seasons nearly every year for a decade and a half, is one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. Josh McDaniels coordinates one of the most efficient offenses in the NFL. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and will shred nearly any defense he is pitted against. If Brady goes down he has a very capable backup in Jimmy Garoppolo. The running game is average, but having James White take the role of Dion Lewis as a nice scat back for third down is incredibly helpful. Julian Edelman is still a premium possession receiver, and Chris Hogan is carving a very nice niche. Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett are the best 1-2 punch at TE in the league, and probably the best duo since the days of Hernandez and Gronk. The offensive line has been incredibly good with their old OL coach back, and they are much healthier this time around. Solder isn't banged up, and Joe Thuney is arguably already a top 10 guard.

On defense, Jabaal Sheard and Rob Ninkovich are a terrifying duo around the edge. Sheard is one of the better pass-rushers in the league right now from the outside. Malcom Brown is a solid interior anchor as well. They have what very well could be the best LB corps in the NFL when you consider how good Jamie Collins and Donta Hightower have been. They're both very likely in the conversation for top 10 LBs, if not borderline top 5 LBs. Malcolm Butler is a shutdown corner, and Logan Ryan can hold his own. Devin McCourty is still one of the better safeties in the league, and Patrick Chung is back.

This team went 3-1 without Tom Brady including a primetime smashing of the Texans, who very well could win the AFC South. They are very likely going to be 6-1 after next week if Roethlisberger can't play. This is an elite team with the most talent a Patriots team has had in the past decade. They are going to smash whatever joker you take to beat em.

And your argument that Keenum looking good and the Dolphins winning meaning ALL LOGIC IS BROKEN is fucking stupid. Football is a game of collective results. One game does not determine how good a team is, and it certainly does not mean that football is a meaningless pile of randomness with you throwing darts that somehow hit. That's talking like a child.
Edited by 7-9

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