The Patriots defense bent and then it bent some more on the Bengals’ second offensive possession of the game, but they didn’t break with their backs against the end zone.
Marvin Lewis opted to have his team go for it from the one-yard-line on fourth down in the second quarter and Giovani Bernard was swamped by the Patriots defense before he made it back to the line of scrimmage. Defensive linemen Anthony Johnson and Alan Branch led the charge and the Bengals were left with nothing to show for a 15-play, 89-yard drive that ate up almost nine minutes of the clock.
Cornerback Malcolm Butler made a big play on third down, knocking away a pass to A.J. Green that became Andy Dalton’s first incompletion of the day. Dalton opened the day with 10 straight completions for 93 yards.
The Patriots still lead 3-0 and now have the ball for the third time on the day.
UPDATE 1:58 p.m. ET: The Bengals forced a quick punt and then took a 7-3 lead after a much quicker drive ended with Dalton strolling into the end zone from two yards out.