This sort of thing happened way too much today. (Jim Rogash/ Getty Images)
There are a lot of people to blame for this loss. Carson Palmer made mistakes. The offensive line got pushed around in the first half. The defensive line got pushed around for the whole game. The secondary and linebackers were on their heels for the whole game. Kick-off teams gave up huge plays and couldn't get passed the 20. Tom Brady's hair is too perfect. Bob Bratkowski's playcalls were either bad or didn't work because the offensive line sucked today. The Bengals only rushed for 71 yards. The New England Patriots don't lose at home. Lots of reasons, none of them satisfying, none of them make it any easier to stomach. But it's one game, it's the first game, and it's in New England. Can't take too much out of it.
The Bengals lost this game, and they lost just about every phase of it along the way. But at least the second half gave us some positives to look at. The offense picked up and scored 3 touchdowns after being very quiet and mistake-prone early on. They are tenacious. They did not give up. They battled, and even though they suffered an interception-touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown, they didn't roll over. That was the difference in the game, as it turns out. But at least they didn't go down without a fight. I'm hopeful for the rest of the season and I hope you folks tag along for the ride.