Curran's things to watch during Patriots-Bengals

Curran's things to watch during Patriots-Bengals
October 6, 2013, 11:00 am
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CINCINNATI -- It’s moist here on the Kentucky-Ohio line. A few last-minute items to watch for as the Patriots go in search of 5-0:
* It’s not a light rain this morning. And it didn’t just start. It’s been raining steadily since Saturday afternoon and this FieldTurf surface hasn’t been covered. You have to give the receivers the edge in weather like this since they know where they are going and defensive backs don’t. Quick receivers like Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola gain an advantage, especially on lumbering linebackers like Burfict, Maualuga and James Harrison. Same goes for the Patriots dealing with a precise route-runner like A.J. Green.
* Watching the film of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton from last week’s loss to Cleveland, his accuracy was beyond awful. It was stunning because he is a decent quarterback. But he’s missing high and behind receivers and is forcing the ball, it seems, to predetermined spots. He really needs to play better to give Cincy a chance.
* A.J. Green is catching just more than 50 percent of the passes directed at him. Not much his fault. Dalton’s accuracy again. Additionally, the patience of Green with Dalton is clearly on the wane if you read body language after some of the missed throws.
* The protection the Bengals have been affording Dalton has been nothing to pole vault over. He’s been sacked six times the past two weeks and heat on him has caused him to throw with bad footwork.
* The Patriots did nothing to shore up the defensive line in the wake of Vince Wilfork’s injury in terms of signing from their own roster or outside. So they ride with Tommy Kelly, Joe Vellano and Chris Jones on the inside. That’s a spot to watch.