The Cincinnati Bengals kept the good times rolling in Week 16, as they defeated the New England Patriots 22-18. The victory was their seventh in a row, as they jumped out to an early lead on the Patriots but needed to catch a few breaks in the fourth quarter to hold on.
New England was held scoreless on its first seven drives of the game before a pick-six by Marcus Jones turned the tide of the game. The Patriots scored touchdowns on their next two possessions after that, putting a ton of pressure on the Bengals.
It was a script flip from the previous week when Cincinnati played poorly for the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but got on track in the second half as the Buccaneers couldn’t get out of their own way. After scoring on four out of their first five drives of the game, the Bengals were held scoreless in the second half.
Despite the struggles, quarterback Joe Burrow still had a very good game as he was tasked with carrying the offense with the running game stifled. Burrow completed 40-of-52 pass attempts for 375 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
While the turnovers were certainly untimely, Burrow still graded out very well in the game. According to PFF, he received a passing grade of 91.6 against New England. That was the highest passing grade of the week in the NFL.
Burrow has had some big performances recently as a driving force behind the team’s winning streak. While things got hairy in the second half against New England, they were able to do enough to escape with a victory.
Now 11-4 on the season, Cincinnati will have to play another strong game next weekend as they are hosting the Buffalo Bills. A victory in that game will put the Bengals in a position to claim the No. 1 overall seed in the AFC. If they win their final two games of the season, one Kansas City Chiefs loss would result in the AFC going through Cincinnati this postseason.