Bengals looking for 7th straight win as they face Pats
CINCINNATI (10-4) at NEW ENGLAND (7-7)
Saturday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK NFL LINE: Bengals by 3 1/2.
AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bengals 11-3; Patriots 7-6-1.
SERIES RECORD: Patriots lead 17-9
LAST MEETING: Patriots beat Bengals 34-13 on Dec. 15, 2019, in Cincinnati
LAST WEEK: Bengals beat Buccaneers 34-23; Patriots lost to Raiders 30-24.
BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (26), PASS (6), SCORING (5T).
BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (16), RUSH (8), PASS (20), SCORING (10T).
PATRIOTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (19), PASS (23), SCORING (17).
PATRIOTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (9), PASS (9), SCORING (7T).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bengals plus-5; Patriots plus-3
BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Joe Burrow. With Burrow under center the Bengals are 12-4 over their past 16 games on the road, including the playoffs. In those games, Burrow has passed for 4,069 yards and 35 touchdowns, compiling a 102.3 passer rating, including a 17-point comeback win last week at Tampa Bay. His 31 passing TDs this season trail only Patrick Mahomes (35). Burrow ranks fourth in the NFL with 3,885 passing yards.
PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Josh Uche: He has a career-high 10 1/2 sacks this season, all in the past seven games. He leads the NFL in sacks since Week 8 with his 10 1/2.
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KEY MATCHUP: Burrow vs. Patriots secondary. The Patriots best chance of slowing down the Bengals offense will be by limiting Burrow in the passing game. New England enters allowing opponents only 202 passing yards per game and already has three interception returns for touchdowns.
KEY INJURIES: DE Trey Hendrickson (wrist) is expected to play. DE Sam Hubbard left in the first half last week with a calf injury and was ruled out. He was seen after the Buccaneers game wearing a walking boot on his left ankle and may miss a couple of weeks. ... Patriots WR DeVante Parker remained in the concussion protocol throughout the week and will miss his second straight game after sitting out last week against Las Vegas. CB Jalen Mills (groin) also was inactive last week and will sit again with a groin issue. P Jake Bailey, who has been on injured reserve since Nov. 19, returned to practice on Wednesday. But LS Joe Cardona will miss his first game in his eight-year career with an ankle injury.
SERIES NOTES: The Patriots have won three straight meetings and eight of the past 10. ... New England is 10-2 at home all time, including 4-0 at Gillette Stadium. Cincinnati is one of 11 teams the Patriots have a perfect home record against. ... The Bengals’ most recent win over New England was in 2013, a 13-6 victory in Cincinnati.
STATS AND STUFF: Cincinnati has a six-game win streak. ... New England has lost three of its past four games and enters the week eighth in the AFC. ... The Bengals have had 400 or more net yards in four games since Week 7, tied for the fourth most in the NFL in that span. ... Despite being sidelined four games, WR Ja’Marr Chase enters Week 16 ranked 20th in the NFL in receiving yards (881) and is tied for fifth in receiving TDs (eight). ... Entering Week 16, WR Tee Higgins has 65 catches for 894 yards (13.8 average), good for the 18th-most yards in the NFL despite missing nearly nine full quarters. ... Since 2011, the Bengals have a 66-6-2 record in the regular season when scoring 25 or more points. ... The Bengals defense has allowed only 115 points (8.2 per game) in the second half/overtime, tied for the third fewest in the league. In 74 opponent drives in the second half/OT, the Bengals have forced 28 punts, 15 field-goal attempts and eight turnovers on downs, while getting six fumble recoveries and five INTs. ... New England’s red zone offense ranks last in the NFL, producing a TD on only 14 of 37 trips inside the 20-yard line. ... The Patriots scored on defense for the fifth time last week, tying them with Arizona for the most this season. The Patriots’ six non-offensive touchdowns (including a Marcus Jones punt return for a TD) lead the NFL. The franchise record for most defensive scores in a season is six. ... New England ranks third in the NFL with 48 sacks, trailing only Philadelphia (55) and Dallas (49). With one more sack the Patriots will tie for the most sacks under Bill Belichick (49 in 2015). The franchise record is 66, set in 1963. ... Entering Week 16, LB Matt Judon has 14 1/2 sacks, second in the NFL to Nick Bosa (15 1/2). ... DB Marcus Jones leads with the league with 799 total return yards. ... S Kyle Dugger has two TDs this season, a 59-yard fumble returned for a touchdown against Detroit on Oct. 9 and a 16-yard interception returned for a touchdown last week at Las Vegas. With one more touchdown he can become the first New England player since the 1970 merger with three defensive touchdowns in a season. ... LB Ja’Whaun Bentley has had 10 tackles in each of the past two games. ... Matthew Slater has eight special teams tackles and needs two more to reach double digits for the 11th time in his career. ... Entering Week 16, K Nick Folk leads the NFL with 30 field goals. He has made 59 straight field goals under 40 yards. His previous miss under 40 yards was a 31-yard attempt on Oct. 12, 2017, against New England when he played for Tampa Bay.
FANTASY TIP: Patriots RB Rhamondre Stevenson is coming off rushing for a career-high 172 yards last week at Las Vegas.
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