Halftime Quick Hitters: Patriots Lead Bengals 20-3 On Sunday Night Football

Tom Brady became the sixth NFL quarterback to pass for 50,000 yards, and the New England Patriots played up to the occasion en route to a 20-3 halftime lead over the Cincinnati Bengals.

The week had been full of negative stories about Brady's future in New England, but there were no signs of discord as the Patriots rushed out to a 14-point lead before the end of the first quarter.

A week after New England was blown out 42-14 in Kansas City, they came out strong against a Bengals team looking to move to 4-0 on the season. Bengals QB Andy Dalton was rattled early and often, and the presence of CB Darrelle Revis was key as Dalton was unable to find #1 target A.J. Green.

Biggest Play: The Bengals, down 17-3, had a chance to put a few more points on the board with under two minutes left in the half. Instead, they put the ball on the ground deep in their own territory, setting the Patriots up for a drive that extended their lead to 17.

Biggest Surprise: New England's offensive line. Bill Belichick has finally found a combination that works up front, and they gave Brady protection in the pocket while clearing the way for Stevan Ridley (11 carries, 49 yards and a TD) and Shane Vereen (6 carries for 48 yards).

Patriots Key Player: Tom Brady. Brady put on his best first-half performance of the season, racking up 153 passing yards and a TD while completing 11 of his 19 passes.

Bengals Key Player: QB Andy Dalton was making the right throws, but was let down by his receivers on multiple occasions. Dalton will need to be on point in the second half if the Bengals are going to make a game out of this.

Who Has The Edge? The Patriots have the lead, the momentum, and the mental edge. It's hard to see them giving up this kind of lead at home...but we've already seen the Patriots do all kinds of things we didn't expect from them this season. Stay tuned.

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