Though the Bengals put forth a better effort in Week 6 than they did against the Cowboys the prior Sunday afternoon, there were still some blemishes given by some of Cincinnati's individual players. The team played well into the third quarter, but matchup problems began to surface.
Who in your mind was the weakest link -- or the goat of the game -- against the Patriots?
Defensive Tackle Domata Peko: The veteran defensive lineman was part of a defensive line group that pressured Tom Brady and stifled the running game a bit, but a couple of plays of his on offense really stand out as big gaffes. While it wasn't totally his fault because of Ken Zampese putting him in a position he doesn't normally play, but two big whiffs on blocks when the team was trying to get a critical touchdown in the second quarter.
Offensive Tackle Cedric Ogbuehi: It's hard to keep piling on a guy who is struggling through the first six games of his career as a starting right tackle, but his struggles have been apparent. Though the huge holding penalty led to a snowball effect of a safety and subsequent Patriots touchdown, the call was a little questionable. Even so, he put himself and the team in a bad position by allowing the initial pressure and then the hold. Ogbuehi graded out at 42.9, per Pro Football Focus, which is a very poor score.
Safety George Iloka: This was the exact type of game Iloka was paid for this offseason because of his role in covering tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. Not only did Gronk have a career day, in terms of receiving yards with 162, but Iloka had a deplorable PFF score of 38.7 on the day and was awful throughout the game. The main defensive game plan revolved around covering those two and Iloka was part of the group responsible. He left the game with a shoulder injury, but did return and only missed a handful of plays.
Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick: Ironically, Kirkpatrick had an even lower score in coverage on Sunday, even though it wasn't necessarily the outside receivers who won the game for New England. Not only was Kirkpatrick flagged for an egregious illegal contact penalty on a crucial third-and-18 in the second quarter that inevitably led to a Patriots touchdown, but his PFF score on the day was 37.9.
Linebacker Karlos Dansby: It hasn't quite been the year most had hoped for from one of the team's bigger free agent acquisitions. While he and Vincent Rey have actually scored out well via PFF metrics prior to Week 6, Dansby and Co. were part of a group that allowed the Patriots tight ends to walk all over the defense and his PFF score was 31.5.