OCTOBER 1, 2007
The Bengals.com roundtable is murmuring just like the national media about this one. The unbeaten Patriots look as invincible as any team from any era and the Bengals are hurt and reeling. But a Marvin Lewis team has been here at home and pulled the upset.
"Cincinnati is always going to be in every game because they can score and it really helps them they're at home," says The Guru, a former top football executive in the NFL. "I know Rudi Johnson is hurt, but I think you can run on (New England) and they're going to have to because they have to possess the ball and keep (Tom) Brady off the field."
The Chief, a personnel director for a team not in the Bengals division, is like everyone else and is overwhelmed with the talent New England has stockpiled.
"But I think if the Bengals can get into their secondary, they can win," The Chief says. "And if they can go 50 percent in the red area, hold them to field goals half the time, they can do it. But there's no question it is the hugest challenge for any team in the NFL right now."
The Guru: "The obvious edge is to the Patriots, but I'm not counting out the Bengals with their offense and the way that Marvin will get them to play at home."
The Chief: "The Patriots have so many weapons. But bleed the running game, limit the big play, and they don't have to sack Brady but they have to make him uncomfortable. And the Bengals have one of the few offenses that can stay with them."
So there it is. No big plays on defense or special teams. Hog the ball for 35 minutes. Harass Brady. Score points. No turnovers.