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Pats Fall to Cincy in Preseason Homecoming, 7-6

Tom Brady and Keith Rivers

When the most exciting play of a game is the extra point, you know you’re watching a stinker. Thursday night’s preseason game between the Bengals and Patriots was just that, and it was painful to watch. New England wasn’t able to muster much on the offensive side of the ball, and was unable to cross the goal line all night long, falling to the Bengals, who stunk just a little less than the Pats did, by a slim 7-6 score.

The game marked the return of Tom Brady to Gillette Stadium for the first time since the opener of the 2008 regular season, when just 7 minutes into the game, Kansas City’s Bernard Pollard put a quick end to Brady’s year, sidelining #12 with a season-ending knee injury. Pats fans welcomed Brady with a standing ovation as he took the field for New England’s first drive of the game. Brady, who saw action for the Pats’ two opening series, finished the game going 4-for-8 for 57 yards through the air.

The New England offense was limited to just two Stephen Gostkowski field goals, of 32 and 41 yards in length. On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati mounted their only scoring drive of the game in the second quarter, when quarterback J.T. O’Sullivan connected with receiver Chris Henry on a 24-yard touchdown strike, which would set up what would turn out to be the game-winning point-after kick. Arguably the biggest play of the game, with starting place kicker Shayne Graham out with a strained groin, wide receiver and professional annoyance Chad Ochocinco stepped up and delivered the point-after kick, splitting the uprights, and giving Cincinnati the seven points needed to hold onto the victory.

Other Notes:

  • The Pats defense wobbled between 3-4 and 4-3 formations through much of the game, after spending last week predominantly working in the 4-3.
  • Patriots QBs spread the ball to 13 different receivers in the game, led by undrafted rookie Terrence Nunn, who hauled in 4 balls for 53 yards. Randy Moss, Alex Smith, and last week’s hero Chris Baker all went catchless.
  • RB Sammy Morris and TE Benjamin Watson both did not see action tonight.
  • One of the Pats’ positional battles many have their eyes on is at the running back spot. Tonight, Fred Taylor saw most of the playing time in the first half with the starters, carrying the ball 7 times for 26 yards with one 12-yard reception, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis took on almost all of the workload in the second half, leading the team with 10 carries for 44 yards on the ground. Laurence Maroney was held to just 3 runs for 6 total yards with one 14-yard catch, and Kevin Faulk had one 5-yard dash and a pair of receptions, totaling 37 yards.
  • On the flip side, Cincinnati’s quarterback duties were split between O’Sullivan and Palmer. No, this is not Carson, as he was sidelined with a high ankle sprain, but his younger brother Jordan, the UTEP grad entering his second pro season. O’Sullivan gained 141 yards through the air on 10-of-13 passing, while young Mr. Palmer threw 2-for-7 for 45 yards.
  • Before the game, seven-year Pats veteran Jim Nance and Patriots original owner Billy Sullivan were inducted in the Patriots Hall of Fame at Gillette Stadium. Several other Pats Hall of Famers were on the sidelines for the game, including Andre Tippett, John Hannah, and Steve Grogan.

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Discussion

2 comments for “Pats Fall to Cincy in Preseason Homecoming, 7-6”

  1. Pats Fall to Cincy in Preseason Homecoming, 7-6: When the most exciting play of a game is the extra point, you k.. http://bit.ly/oA39W

    Posted by Sports of Boston | August 21, 2009, 3:49 am
  2. [...] Post a comment It was only a preseason game, but Chad Ochocino was very instrumental in the gritty 7-6 win last Thursday against the Patriots. With regular placekicker Shayne Graham out with an injury, [...]

    Posted by Video: Chad Ochocinco Kicks Extra Point | Sports of Boston | August 23, 2009, 6:35 pm

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