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MNF: Patriots at Bengals

The Patriots (3-0) look for a big road win tonight as they take on the Cincinnati Bengals (1-2) shortly after 8:30 pm tonight on Monday Night Football.

The Pats have looked unstoppable on offense this season, scoring 38 points in each of the first three games (coincidentally the Pats scored 38 points against the Bengals in last season’s week 4 match up). The Bengals defense has been a sieve, allowing more than 31 points a game, including 51 to the Cleveland Browns in Week 2. The Bengals will also be without the services of running back Rudi Johnson, who is out with a hamstring injury.

3 Keys to the Game:

  1. CONTROL THE ATMOSPHERE: The Patriots must first deal with the hostile Monday Night Football atmosphere in Cincinnati. This is the first of a few tough road games this season and the Patriots need to show the veteran composure they usually exude in scoring quickly to take the crowd out of the game. It smells of a Belichick game plan of a no huddle, spread out, pass heavy first offensive drive for the Pats.
  2. KEEP PALMER IN CHECK: The absence of Rudi is devastating for the Bengals. While Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson and T.J. Housh. are capable of taking a game over, the Patriots will use the nickel and dime formations frequently and force Palmer to make risky throws in order to move the ball.
  3. KEEP SCORING: The Bengals defense is shaky at best. The Patriots have shown their immense diversity in ways of scoring. The Pats need to score a lot of points to ensure a fourth straight victory.

Prediction: The loss of Rudi will be tough to deal with for the Bengals as the Patriots will use a plethora of defensive backs and force the run. Adalius Thomas will show his versatility in pass coverage as the safetys will be doubling Johnson and Housh all night. The Patriots offense is just too good for the underachieving Bengals defense. Moss with another big game.

Patriots 42, Bengals 17

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