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Bengals Report Card from loss to Patriots


Here is a look at the good, the bad and the key plays from the Bengals’ 35-17 loss to the New England Patriots in this week’s Report Card:

RUSH OFFENSE

The Good: The Bengals averaged 4.8 yards on first-down rushes in the first half, putting them in manageable situations that resulted in a productive start that saw the Bengals roll up 193 yards in the first two quarters.

The Bad: Two runs for no gain with the ball inches away from the goal line, and a 3.4-yard average for the game on designed runs.

Key Play: The stoning on fourth and goal inside the 1 cost the Bengals a chance to get some much-needed points in the first half.

Grade: C-

7 things to know about Bengals loss to the Patriots

PASS OFFENSE

The Good: Andy Dalton completed 13 of his first 14 passes, didn’t turn the ball over and finished with a 103.6 passer rating.

The Bad: Dalton checked to a fade that didn’t work on third and goal at the 1 during the second quarter goal-line stand, and starting right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi struggled again and got benched in the third quarter.

Key Play: Although it accounted for just two of the Patriots’ 35 points, the sack and safety marked the turning point in the game.

Grade: B-

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RUSH DEFENSE

The Good: The Bengals held the Patriots to 79 rushing yards and 3.4 average.

The Bad: LaGarrette Blount gained 10 yards on New England’s first play of the first quarter and 15 yards on the Patriots’ first snap of the second quarter.

Key play: Blount’s 1-yard touchdown run with 57 seconds remaining officially iced the game.

Grade: C

PASS DEFENSE

The Good: The Bengals got to Tom Brady for three sacks, including the first ones of the year for Pat Sims and Vontaze Burfict.

The Bad: While the Bengals did a good job covering the New England wide receivers, they couldn’t keep up with running back James White (eight catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns) or tight ends Rob Gronkowski (seven receptions, career-high 162 yards, one TD) and Martellus Bennett (five catches, 48 yards).

Key play: Dre Kirkpatrick’s illegal contact penalty on a third-and-18 incompletion extended New England’s first touchdown drive of the game.

Grade: D

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SPECIAL TEAMS

The Good: Mike Nugent was good on his only field goal attempt and three of his five kickoffs resulted in touchbacks.

The Bad: Kevin Huber had a 28.8-yard net thanks to a couple of poor punts when the Bengals were battling for a field position while the game was still close.

Key Play: With the momentum turning, Huber came on after a three and out and only got off a 37 punt that, coupled with a 9-yard return, allowed the Patriots to start at their own 47 on the drive that ended with White’s second touchdown of the game for a 25-14 lead.

Grade: C-

COACHING

The Good: The Bengals were well prepared to deal with the Brady homecoming and looked like the better team for 2 ½ quarters.

The Bad: Penalties, both pre- and post-snap, continue to be an issue six weeks into the season.

Key Play: The decision to go for it on fourth and goal at the 1 didn’t work, but it was the right call in a 3-0 game early in the second quarter.

Grade: C-

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