The New England Patriots may be taking a 4-0 record into Cincinnati, but it’s a record they’ve stumbled into more than really earned. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has played horribly, his receiving corps is rife with fresh faces, and the Patriots don’t have a single statistic in the NFL’s top 10. Still, New England has a solid chance to go 5-0 after they face a 2-2 Bengals team today that’s had its own share of struggles this season. Normally watching New England and Cincinnati face off on CBS at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific would be a slam dunk. Today, that HDTV will likely be tuned to another game while people watch Patriots vs Bengals online free live streaming using one of several different methods. May as well save the big screen for the big entertainment.
Saying Tom Brady has played horribly through the first four weeks of the 2013 NFL season isn’t unfair. Normally a stud, Brady has led the Patriots to just the 16th-ranked passing game in the league through four weeks, a ranking that trails the team’s rank on the ground (11th). In fact, with all due respect to Bengals QB Andy Dalton, Brady has only out-passed the Bengals QB by 11 yards (1,014 to 1,003) and tossed seven touchdowns to Dalton’s five. Considering the NFL’s own pundits have called Dalton not “good enough to allow [the Bengals] to compete, in the bigger picture, with the NFL’s elite,” that’s not exactly company Brady would normally want to keep.
Brady won’t have a heyday against the Bengals either, in spite of their sporting just the NFL’s 13th-ranked defense. Reason: Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins, recently labeled as the best defensive tackle in the league with a “unique combination of leverage, strength and quickness [that] allows him to dominate centers and guards as both an interior pass rusher and a top-notch run defender.” If you watch Patriots vs Bengals online free live streaming and expect to see Tom Brady finally having a breakout game, you may end up seeing him instead floundering his way to another inexplicable victory.
Nor will Brady be saved by the return of Rob Gronkowski, who didn’t travel with the New England Patriots to Cincinnati and will not play today against the Bengals. The star tight end has been out all season with back and arm injuries, and it looks like his 2013 NFL season debut will be postponed by at least one more week. The Patriots will also be without running back Stevan Ridley (knee) and special teams member Tavon Wilson, while running backs Brandon Bolden (knee) and Leon Washington (thigh) have each been listed as questionable. On the defensive side of the ball, the Patriots took a major hit with veteran defensive tackle Vince Wilfork’s season-ending injury.
How are the Cincinnati Bengals shaping up? Amazingly, worse. Bengals QB Andy Dalton this past Sunday had a season-low quarterback rating of 29.7, and it’s sad when the team celebrates the fact that it’s punter gets Punter of the Week awards — because that means you’re punting rather than converting on third and fourth down. It’s actually gotten the point for the Bengals that ESPN said they have “no ground game to speak of, and the passing game has been inconsistent. The offensive line and tight ends are the only ones who have played at a solid level all season.” Not exactly encouraging words for a team hoping to derail New England after the Patriots seemed to find a rhythm in their Week 4 victory.
With all that said, the game still involves a 4-0 team, Tom Brady is still playing quarterback for the Patriots, and it’s still a game that just last Saturday had “must watch” written all over it. Things may have changed in a week’s time, but it’s still worth it to watch Patriots vs Bengals online free live streaming on CBS’ website or on gameday and save the bigger 1pm/10am games for the HDTV.