Instant Reaction: Patriots Crush Bengals 43-17 On Sunday Night Football

The Bengals briefly made it interesting, but were unable to catch up with Tom Brady and a Patriots squad that rolled back the clock for a vintage performance.

Brady became the sixth QB in NFL history to crack 50,000 passing yards, and the team marked the occasion appropriately with a comprehensive win over Cincinnati in front of a national audience.

Turning Point: The Patriots turned a 20-10 lead into a 34-10 lead in six seconds midway through the third quarter. The Bengals weren't done for the night, but there was no way back from there.

Key Stat: 0/6 - the Bengals failed to convert on third down every time the opportunity presented itself. Against a team like New England in prime time, that just isn't acceptable.

Patriots MVP: No surprises here - Tom Brady was on point for New England from start to finish. The veteran QB went 23/35 for 292 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Bengals MVP: This got out of hand in front of a national audience, but unlike in recent years, no blame can go to QB Andy Dalton. Dalton wasn't perfect, but he certainly wasn't the problem. The former TCU QB went 15/24 for 204 yards and two TDs before being replaced by Jason Campbell in garbage time.

What’s Next? New England's season got the fresh start it needed, and the Patriots are now 3-2 heading into a road game in Buffalo. The Bengals fall to 3-1, and they'll host the Carolina Panthers next Sunday as they try to put this one in the rear-view mirror quickly.

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