Cincinnati (2-3) at New England (4-1)
When: Sunday, October 16th 2016
Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: CBS
The Cincinnati Bengals look to bounce back after an embarrassing Week 5 loss to take on the New England Patriots with Tom Brady back at the helm. The Bengals fell behind 28-0 in Dallas last week and fell to the Cowboys 28-14 to drop below .500. Cincinnati’s schedule has been tough to start with their other two losses coming against Denver and Pittsburgh. Andy Dalton leads all AFC quarterbacks with 1,503 passing yards, while top target A.J. Green has a conference-leading 518 yards receiving. Injuries to tight end Tyler Eifert and an ineffective running game continue to hurt this offense. Running back Jeremy Hill was held to 12 yards on four carries after aggravating a shoulder injury, but is expected to play Sunday. Former Patriots WR Brandon LaFell is coming off an eight-catch, two-touchdown effort against Dallas. Cincinnati ranks 11th in total defense in the league and 16th in points allowed (22.0) after last week’s loss. The Bengals will get Cleveland at home next week before going to London to play the Redskins.
Brady returned in a big way last week and showed zero signs of rust even though it was the Browns. Brady might have found a new favorite target to go along with Rob Gronkowski, as fellow tight end Martellus Bennett had six receptions for 67 yards and three touchdowns. Brady came out throwing early and often in the 33-13 win, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns to earn AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Gronkowski, who missed the first two games due to a hamstring injury and had one catch through the first four games, broke out with five catches for 109 yards at Cleveland. Offseason acquisition Chris Hogan also made an impact with the return of Brady, grabbing four passes for 114 yards. New England ranks 13th overall in total defense allowing 345 yards a game, but are fourth with an average of 14.8 points allowed. The Patriots will have two tough road games after this heading into their bye week – Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
Brady will get a tougher game this week with Cincinnati in town, but will still probably put up the big numbers. They say to never bet against New England, but Cincinnati is just too good of a team to give this many points to. They will bounce back and give the Patriots all they can handle.
Pick: Bengals +9