“I’m bummed that we lost,” Brady said of his broken streak. “I think that’s all that really matters.”
The Patriots couldn’t get into the end zone against a defense that’s becoming known for taking down the league’s top quarterbacks.
Two weeks earlier at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals’ defense stymied Aaron Rodgers in a 34-30 win over Green Bay, overcoming four turnovers by Cincinnati’s offense that gave the Packers good field position.
Brady never got into a rhythm against Cincinnati’s unrelenting pass rush. He finished 18 of 38 for 197 yards with one interception and a paltry passer rating of 52.2. It didn’t help that a storm moved in just before the start of New England’s final drive.
Cincinnati’s defense even had a hand — well, a shoulder — in the winning touchdown.
The Bengals had failed to score a touchdown during a 17-6 loss at Cleveland, one that left them looking to establish an identity on offense by running the ball. They did what they wanted in one grinding drive.
Cincinnati went 93 yards in 14 plays for its touchdown, holding the ball for 7 minutes, 48 seconds. Defensive tackle Domata Peko came in as a blocking fullback on third-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line but took off too soon, a false start.
Andy Dalton scrambled to the 1 on a quarterback keeper, and Peko came in and plowed the way for former Patriot BenJarvus Green-Ellis to score on fourth down.
Dalton was 20 of 27 for 212 yards with four sacks and one costly interception. He scrambled away from pressure and threw back across the field in the first quarter, getting intercepted by Brandon Spikes at the 8-yard line.
It was the first time during his three-year career that Dalton threw an interception on a play that started inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.