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Game Preview

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Game Preview: Patriots at Bengals


Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In Cincinnati, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12). Broadcasters are Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), James Lofton (analyst) and Amanda Balionis (sideline reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

The game also will air nationally on Sports USA Radio. Broadcasters are Larry Kahn (play-by-play), John Robinson (analyst) and Troy West (sideline reporter).

Setting the scene: The Bengals this week return home to Paul Brown Stadium, where they will host the New England Patriots on Sunday. Cincinnati stands at 1-12 on the season, after falling 27-19 on the road to the Cleveland Browns last week.

At first glance, Cincinnati put up what seemed to be a solid all-around showing against Cleveland. The Bengals' offense gained a season-high 451 yards, HB Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 146 yards and a TD, the team was plus-one in the turnover battle, and Browns QB Baker Mayfield was held to just a 45.8 percent completion percentage and 38.9 passer rating.

But Cincinnati fell short in a few critical areas. The Bengals scored just one TD on five trips inside the red zone, converted just three of 12 third downs, threw a pick-six, and committed eight penalties for 99 yards.

Mixon highlighted the day for Cincinnati by posting a career-high 186 yards from scrimmage, the most by a Bengals RB since Jeremy Hill in 2016 (192 vs. Cleveland). After a slow start to the season in which he averaged just 36.3 rushing yards over the first seven games, Mixon has been among the hottest running backs in the league in recent weeks. The third-year pro ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards (469) over the last five weeks, and first in attempts (105).

Getting back into the win column and continuing the offensive momentum figure to be tall tasks this week, as Cincinnati faces a Patriots team that boasts the league's top defense in both yards and points allowed. Taylor, who faced New England in last year's Super Bowl while he was an assistant with the Rams, said this week that his approach will not change.

New England enters Sunday's matchup with a 10-3 record, after suffering a 23-16 loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs last week.

The series: The Patriots lead 16-9, but the Bengals lead in games played in Cincinnati, 7-6. New England has won the last two meetings, 35-17 in 2016 and 43-17 in '14 (both played at Gillette Stadium). The Bengals won the last meeting in Cincinnati, 13-6 at Paul Brown Stadium in 2013.

Cincinnati's first victory in the series was a memorable one, as the 1970 team won 45-7 over Boston at Riverfront Stadium to clinch the AFC Central Division title. The Paul Brown-coached Bengals, in their third season, became at the time the youngest franchise ever to reach the playoffs.

In 1988, a Super Bowl-bound Bengals team opened the season with a 6-0 start before losing 27-21 at New England in Game 7.

The series began at baseball's storied Fenway Park. In an American Football League game in 1968, the Patriots beat the expansion Bengals, 33-14.

Bengals career records watch: Here is a look at potential upcoming movement in the Bengals' career records book (regular season):

  • QB Andy Dalton has 4334 career pass attempts, 141 behind QB Ken Anderson (4475) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
  • DE Carlos Dunlap has 78 career sacks, 5.5 shy of DE Eddie Edwards* (83.5) for the Bengals' all-time lead. Dunlap passed DT Geno Atkins (75.5) for second place all-time in Game 12 vs. the N.Y. Jets.
  • Atkins has 75.5 career sacks, 2.5 shy of Dunlap (78) for second place all-time. Edwards* (83.5) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
  • WR A.J. Green has 63 career receiving TDs, three behind WR Chad Johnson (66) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
  • Green has 63 total TDs, one short of WR Carl Pickens and RB James Brooks (both with 64) for third place all-time. FB Pete Johnson (70) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
  • Bengals WR Alex Erickson has 106 career punt returns, 24 shy of CB Lemar Parrish (130) for third place all-time. WR Brandon Tate (153) is the Bengals' all-time leader. Erickson passed S Tommy Casanova (91) for fifth place all-time in Game 3 at Buffalo, and then passed CB Adam Jones (98) for fourth place all-time in Game 10 at Oakland.
  • Erickson has 798 career punt return yards, 317 shy of Jones (1115) for fourth place all time. Tate (1411) is the Bengals' all-time leader. Erickson passed Casanova (784) for fifth place all-time in Game 11 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • Erickson has 104 career kickoff returns, 11 shy of FB Eric Ball (115) for fifth place all-time. Mack (146) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
  • Erickson has 2575 career kickoff return yards, 177 behind RB Stanford Jennings (2752) for fourth place all-time. Mack (3583) is the Bengals' all-time leader.
  • Bengals S Brandon Wilson (Reserve/Injured) has one career kickoff return for a TD, one shy S/CB Tremain Mack (two) for the Bengals' all-time lead.
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Bengals-Patriots connections: Patriots RB Rex Burkhead was originally a sixth-round pick (190th overall) of the Bengals in 2013, and was with Cincinnati through the '16 season ... Patriots OL Marshall Newhouse was with the Bengals in 2014 ... Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu Sr. was originally a third-round draft pick (83rd overall) of the Bengals in 2012, and was with Cincinnati through the '15 season ... Patriots OL Korey Cunningham played at the University of Cincinnati ... Patriots OL Joe Thuney is from Centerville, Ohio (Archbishop Alter High School) ... Patriots DB Nate Ebner is from Dublin, Ohio (Hilliard Davidson High School) and played at Ohio State University ... Patriots DE John Simon played at Ohio State University ... Bengals QB Jake Dolegala played at Central Connecticut State University ... Patriots FB James Develin (Reserve/Injured) entered the NFL as a practice squad signee of the Bengals in 2010, and was with the team through '12 preseason ... Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo coached at Harvard University from 1995-2000 ...Bengals offensive line coach Jim Turner is from Boston, Mass., and played fullback at Boston College from 1983-86. Turner also coached at Northeastern University from 1994-98 and Harvard University from 2000-02 ... Bengals assistant offensive line coach Ben Martin is from Boston, Mass., and played at Trinity (CT) College from 2001-05. Martin also coached at Curry (MA) College in 2007, Merrimack (MA) College from '08-09, and Bryant University in '18 ...Bengals wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell is from Holliston, Mass, played TE at Boston College from 1989-91, and coached at Boston University from 1993-97 ...Bengals linebackers coach Tem Lukabu coached at the University of Rhode Island from 2008-09.

Bengals draft picks stick in NFL: A familiar trend has emerged this season regarding which teams have the most keen eye for talent in the draft, and the Bengals again are toward the top of the list. As of Monday (Dec. 9), there were 46 players on NFL rosters who entered the NFL as draft picks of the Bengals, two shy of New England (49) for the most of any team in the NFL.

Cincinnati was among the top three teams all of last season as well, and even held a double-digit lead over the second place team early in the year before 13 qualifying players landed on the Bengals' Reserve/Injured list. Only players on active 53-man rosters are counted in this data.

Of the 53 players on Cincinnati's active roster on Monday (Dec. 9), 40 entered the NFL with the Bengals — 31 as draft picks, and eight as college free agents.

Of the Bengals' 31 draft picks on their roster, six were first-round picks, six were second-rounders, four were third-rounders, six were fourth-rounders, four were fifth-rounders, two were sixth-rounders and three were seventh rounders. It should also be noted that the Bengals have five former draft picks currently on Reserve lists, including former first-rounders OT Jonah Williams and CB Dre Kirkpatrick.

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