Bengals vs. Patriots 2017, the first matchup between these two teams, has been a must see for Bengals fans. The Bengals must overcome adversity in this matchup to make a comeback. The Patriots defeated the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, and their strategy has given the Bengals their blueprint for success. Pittsburgh has had the Bengals’ number for the last decade. The Bengals are 5-17 in their last 22 games against the Steelers. The Bengals must change their fundamental strategy to change this.
The Bengals’ pass defense is suspect. The Bengals finished the season tied for 25th in sacks, while the Patriots finished fifth in DVOA and fifth in points allowed per game. Brady could be able to score a touchdown thanks to the Bengals’ weak pass defense. The Patriots, on the other hand, allowed just 1.5 sacks per game, and they allowed two against the Steelers. In short, the Patriots’ pass defense helped Tom Brady feel comfortable in the pocket and gave the receivers plenty of time to get open.
The Bengals grew in the fourth quarter and eventually led to the Steelers getting down to the Cincinnati 21. After multiple incompletions, the Steelers had to settle on a field goal. The Bengals’ offense was struggling to score on a third-down drive, and a field goal proved to be a last-ditch effort. Steelers were desperate for points before halftime so they gave the ball to Antonio Brown who was intercepted by a pass. The Steelers then kicked a Chris Boswell field goal, and the game ended up being a Bengals win.
The Patriots have a reputation for adjusting their offenses to their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses. They self-identify as a game-plan offense and have a history of morphing to match their opponents. Those teams that can adapt to the Patriots’ offensive style will have to change their offense in order to beat them. The Patriots are more likely to be matched up against the Bengals defense than any other team.
The Bengals are likely to win the AFC South, but a game against the Patriots is unlikely. However, the Bengals could play the Patriots in prime time again. They should therefore look forward to at most five prime-time games. If they do, fans should expect five games in prime time, with two of them being on Saturday. If the Bengals win they could be one 11 teams to reach the Super Bowl in primetime.
The Bengals’ defense is undoubtedly the best in the NFL. Only one team allowed more than 30 points this season. Their offense is also full of talent, with fullback Ickey woods rushing for 1,066 yards and receiving 21 passes for 199 yards. Two Pro Bowl players are part of the Bengals’ defensive linebacking and defense backs. This will make it difficult for the Patriots score in this matchup.