Cincinnati's defense was hardly the fourth ranked defense we expected to be the team's strength this season. Allow the opposing offense to convert nine of 13 third down opportunities, you're going to struggle. You're going to tire. You're going to put the offense in a jam.
The defense allowed the Patriots seven scoring opportunities during New England's nine possessions; including two missed field goals and the team's turnover on downs ended on the Bengals seven-yard line. Brady completed eight of ten passes for 88 yards passing and two touchdowns on third down for a passer rating of 142.9.
The defense knows that they played tentative, not the aggressive defense they were known for last year -- especially the first three quarters of the season. The biggest issue is perhaps the defense never putting pressure on Brady, forcing him into mistakes, throwing the football before he wanted. Instead, he dropped back, opened up a bag of Funyuns, called his wife to tell her his hair still looks great, completing a pass to Wes Welker who ran a route, called Kenny Mayne to tell him he's awesome and catch a floater over Dhani Jones.