Patriots 'D' misses opportunity on 3rd-and-long

Patriots 'D' misses opportunity on 3rd-and-long
October 6, 2013, 7:15 pm
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The Bengals got the play off so quickly that the television cameras almost completely missed it. The Patriots did miss it, for all intents and purposes.

With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, Bill Belichick's defense had Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati offense pinned. Tommy Kelly and Jerod Mayo had just sacked Dalton at the one-yard line, bringing up what seemed to be an impossible third-and-15 situation.

The Bengals were leading, 6-3, but after one more stop the Pats defense would all but insure Tom Brady good field position, and an opportunity to tie the game or take the lead.

What happened next sparked the drive that led to the only touchdown of the game and helped the Bengals deal New England its first loss of the season, 13-6.

Patriots corner Kyle Arrington told Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran after the game that the Patriots had poor communication following the sack. Essentially, he said, they weren't ready.

Dalton lined his teammates up quickly and took the snap so abruptly that not even the CBS cameras couldn't focus in on the action in time. He dropped a perfect pass down the left sideline in between Arrington and safety Devin McCourty that settled into the hands of 6-foot-2 receiver Marvin Jones for a 28-yard gain and a back-breaking first down.

On the very next play, Bengals running back Giovani Benard sliced through the Patriots defense for a 28-yard gain. Eleven plays later, BenJarvus Green-Ellis plowed into the end zone from one yard out to complete the 98-yard drive and give the Bengals a 13-3 lead.

Though the Patriots defense put together yet another stingy performance on Sunday, Dalton's long completion to Jones on third down was one play it would like to have back.