google-site-verification=0bx1QYafX4YUxAV2RLbOiDD2WzOMRAju_YMPZqdCR1E Patriots fumble away comeback against Bengals, fall to 7-8 on season

Main menu


Patriots fumble away comeback against Bengals, fall to 7-8 on season

 So much for New England's joyous holiday season. On Christmas Eve, the Patriots had a furious second-half comeback against the Bengals, but they lost to them 22-18 at Gillette Stadium.

After going into halftime down 22-0, the Patriots responded by scoring 18 points without a response. In the final minute, they were down 22-18 with the ball inside the red zone.

Rhamondre Stevenson threw away a chance for a comeback at the Cincinnati 8-yard line with 1:05 remaining, but they found a new way to lose. This is Stevenson's first fumble loss of the season.

Stevenson remarked, "Probably doing more than I was supposed to do" following the defeat. I ought to have just fallen."

It's not losing on a silly parallel in an undecided outcome, however this one surely stings too. With two weeks remaining, New England is extremely unlikely to make the playoffs and has a season record of 7-8.

"This is a hard loss for us. After the loss, quarterback Mac Jones stated, "There are things I want to do better, and you have to keep working, keep working together." We didn't give up. We put up a fight. We must ultimately accumulate more points.

"That falls on me as a quarterback. "Extremely disappointed, but a lot to reflect on and realize that this team has fighters," Jones added. That's hard to say after a loss, but we do because this team has fighters. The offensive, defensive, and special teams all persevered to the end."

During the first half, the Bengals outperformed the Patriots completely. On the team's first drive, the Cincy offense made it look easy by taking advantage of New England's big receivers and undersized corners. On the second play of the game, Joe Burrow hit 6-foot-4 receiver Tee Higgins for a 39-yard touchdown pass over 5-foot-8 Marcus Jones. Because they had 12 players on the field, the Patriots had to use a timeout before the next play.

Burrow returned to Higgins from nine yards out a few plays later, and the receiver carried Jonathan Jones into the end zone for the game's first touchdown.

The New England offense quickly went three-and-out in response. After Rhamondre Stevenson gained six yards on the first two downs, the Patriots had receivers running downfield routes and were faced with third-and-4. Jones ran away as soon as the pocket on him collapsed and he had no one to throw to, so he fell before the line of scrimmage.

Hunter Henry's collision with Jonnu Smith resulted in a knee injury, putting him out of the game for the remainder of the contest.

Burrow hit tight end Trenton Irwin for an easy touchdown as the Bengals marched 59 yards down the field in nine plays to put Cincinnati ahead 12-0. The only thing that went wrong for the Bengals on Saturday was Evan McPherson missing both of his PATs to get the game started.

Another three-and-out by the Pats followed, and Michael Palardy nearly fumbled his punt attempt. The Bengals began at their own 49-yard line after Palardy's 22-yard boot, and added a field objective to take a 15-0 lead right off the bat in the subsequent quarter.

New Britain got its initial down 16 minutes into the game. However, when Jones hit Jakobi Meyers short of the chains on third-and-5, the Pats decided to throw it away. The Patriots punted once more when Jones was sacked on third-and-5 at midfield on Cincy's next possession after Devin McCourty picked off Burrow.

Before the half, Cincinnati scored another touchdown, and the Patriots left Gillette Stadium with a 22-0 deficit and to boos from the crowd. In the first half, the Bengals gained 303 yards of offense and 21 first downs. There were only three first downs and 71 yards for the Patriots.

In the third quarter, the Patriots finally scored. However, it had nothing to do with the team's offense.

With a 69-yard pick-six against Burrow, rookie Marcus Jones scored his third touchdown of the season. His first defensive touchdown, in addition to his offensive and special teams touchdowns, came from his second interception of the season.

However, Nick Folk missed the PAT, so the touchdown only made the score 22-6.

However, the offense was sparked to life by the defensive score. The Patriots passed midfield for the first time in the afternoon after the New England defense forced a three-and-out. New England's 72-yard scoring drive was led by Mac Jones and Kendrick Bourne, who connected for a five-yard touchdown. On the drive, Jones hit Bourne three times for 56 yards.

With 12:58 remaining, New England's two-point attempt failed to connect with Jones, making the score 22-12.

On their subsequent drive, the Bengals made it to the New England 25 but Irwin intercepted a touchdown pass on third-and-4. With 9:10 remaining, McPherson failed to convert a 43-yard field goal attempt.

Jones hit Bourne down the sideline on the next New England possession, which was initially ruled incomplete. It was overturned, however, to a 28-yard reception down to the Cincy 29 after Belichick challenged. To get both feet into bounds and retain possession of the ball, Bourne put in an incredible effort. However, the highlight belongs to Belichick, who threw the challenge flag out of resentment.