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NFL Week 15 Primer: Cincinnati Bengals (1-12) vs. New England Patriots (10-3)

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Everything you need to know for when the Bengals host the Patriots.

Cincinnati Bengals v New England Patriots Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images

The Bengals are looking to finish out the 2019 season with as much of their pride intact as possible. They only have three games left, and next up is the Patriots.

We have to address the elephant in the room with the reports that New England got caught with at least eight minutes of footage with Cincinnati coaches signaling players on the field. The ramification of this won’t have an impact on this game, but it is obviously a huge story line going into the game.

As far as the game goes, the Patriots are coming into the game on a two game losing streak, and we have already seen the “on to Cincinnati” motto make a return. The last Game where that was the motto ended very poorly for the Bengals as the Patriots defeated the undefeated Cincinnati 43-17 in 2014.

The thing that is probably the scariest about facing New England this season is that they actually have a defense to fall back on. The offense usually find a way to get going with Tom Brady leading the team, but now their defense has been on of the best in the NFL (when not facing Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson).

The Bengals defense has been much improved since the bye week. They haven’t allowed more than 20 points since then (Andy Dalton’s pick six accounted for seven points last week).The unit has just not been giving up that much in the way of points, and considering what they looked like earlier in the season, they may as well be considered a completely new unit.

Offensively, Joe Mixon had his best rushing performance of his NFL career last week as he continues to finish out the season strong. Cincinnati’s change to their blocking scheme and reinserting Dalton as the starter has really opened things up for Mixon, who led the AFC in rushing last season. Will he be able to get going against the Patriots?

Everything you need to know for when the Bengals host the Patriots:

Game: Cincinnati Bengals (1-12) vs. New England Patriots (10-3)

Date/Time: Dec. 15th, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. EST

Location: Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio

Series Leader: The Patriots lead the series at 16-9

Streak: The Patriots have won the past two meetings

Coaches vs. Opponent: Zac Taylor: (0-0). Bill Belichick (15-4)

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In Cincinnati, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12). Broadcasters are Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst) and Amanda Balionis (sideline reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

SB Nation Patriots’ site: Pats Pulpit

Weather: Mid 30’s, mostly cloudy [NFL weather]

Odds: Bengals, +10.5 [Odds Shark]

Bengals Notes

  • Quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 262 yards last week. He has passed for three touchdowns without an interception for a 109.5 passer rating in his past two games against the Patriots. He needs 243 pass yards to become eighth player in NFL history with 3,000 passing yards in eight of his first nine seasons.
  • Running back Joe Mixon had a career-high 186 scrimmage yards (146 rushing and 40 receiving) and a rushing touchdown last week. He aims for his third game in a row with a rushing touchdown. He aims for his fifth in a row against the AFC East with a touchdown. He became the third running back in franchise history with at least 900 yards from scrimmage yards in each of first three seasons.
  • Wide receiver Tyler Boyd had five catches for a team-high 75 yards last week. He aims for his third in a row at home with a touchdown catch. He had four catches for 79 yards in theb last meeting with New England. Wide receiver Alex Erickson had five catches for 45 yards in Week 14. Tight end Tyler Eifert had four catches for 49 yards last week.
  • Defensive end Carlos Dunlap had five tackles and two passes defended last week. He aims for his fourth in a row with a pass defended. He has four sacks in his past two games at home. He has a sack in two of his past three games against AFC East. He is one of four in the NFL with at least 40 tackles and five sacks in each of the past eight seasons. Defensive end Carl Lawson had two tackles for a loss and his third sack of the season last week. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins had a sack in the last home meeting with the Patriots. He has a sack in three of his past four against the AFC East. Safety Jessie Bates had three passes defended and an interception in Week 14. He has a pass defended in five of the past six games.

Patriots Notes

  • Quarterback Tom Brady passed for 169 yards with a touchdown and interception last week. He has completed 52 of 70 passes (74.3 percent) for 668 yards (334 per game) with five touchdowns and no interceptions for a 127.6 passer rating in his past two games against the Bengals. He has at least two touchdown passes and a 90 passer rating in two of his past three against the AFC North. He needs a passing touchdown for his 17th season with at least 20 passing touchdowns, which would surpass Peyton Manning for the most all-time.
  • Running back James White had 60 scrimmage yards last week (33 rushing and 27 receiving). He has a touchdown in two of his past three on the road. He had eight catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the last meeting with Cincinnati. He aims for his fourth in a row against the AFC North with at least 75 scrimmage yards. Since 2015, he leads all running backs in catches (300), receiving yards (2,653) and receiving touchdowns (22).
  • Wide receiver Julian Edelman led the team with eight catches for 95 yards and touchdown last week. He aims for his third in a row with at least 95 receiving yards and a touchdown catch. He aims for his fifth in a row against the AFC North with 75 receiving yards. He needs 97 receiving yards for a new single-season career high (1,106 in 2016). Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu had six catches for 111 yards in his only career game against the Bengals (9/30/18 with the Falcons). He had 1,793 receiving yards and 11 receiving touchdowns in his four seasons with Cincinnati (2012-15).
  • Defensive back Devin McCourty had a team-high nine tackles and forced a fumble last week. He has a forced fumble in two of his past three. He aims for his third in a row against Cincinnati with a pass deflection. He is tied for the NFL lead with five interceptions. Linebacker Jamie Collins had seven tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass deflection in Week 14. He is only one of two players in the NFL (Logan Ryan) with at least five sacks (6) and three forced fumbles (3) this season.

Bengals history against Patriots

Date Visitor Home Result
Date Visitor Home Result
10/16/2016 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
10/05/2014 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
10/06/2013 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
09/12/2010 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
10/01/2007 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
10/01/2006 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
12/12/2004 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
09/09/2001 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
11/19/2000 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
09/18/1994 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
12/12/1993 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
12/20/1992 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
12/22/1991 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
09/23/1990 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
10/16/1988 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
12/07/1986 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots W
12/22/1985 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
10/14/1984 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots L
09/16/1979 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
10/15/1978 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
10/12/1975 New England Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
09/17/1972 Cincinnati Bengals New England Patriots W
12/20/1970 Boston Patriots Cincinnati Bengals W
11/16/1969 Boston Patriots Cincinnati Bengals L
12/01/1968 Cincinnati Bengals Boston Patriots L