New England Patriots vs. Cincinnati Bengals Pick ATS

by | Dec 10, 2019 | nfl

New England Patriots (10-3 SU, 7-6 ATS) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (1-12 SU, 5-8 ATS)

Date/Time: Sunday, December 15th, 1:00 PM

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati OH

TV: CBS

Point Spread: NE -9.5 / CIN +9.5 (SportBet - Parlays Pay More Here!)

Over/Under Total: 40.5

Two teams having polar opposite seasons meet in Ohio on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals welcome the New England Patriots to Paul Brown Stadium. The Patriots hold a 16-9 all-time lead against the Bengals and have had a significant advantage since Tom Brady took over as quarterback, winning six of the last seven games in the series.

RUN OF AWFUL

The Bengals enter the game with a league-worst record of 1-12, though there is some silver lining to this. Their 2019 record should have them end up with the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, where they will have their choice of the best players available, especially at quarterback where the writing is on the wall. Garbage ginger Andy Dalton is on his way out as he currently plods his way through one of the worst seasons of his career. As bad as Dalton has been at times, he is certainly not the only issue, as an unfortunate culture of athleticism over criminal activity has embattled their locker room for years and one of the main reasons they have gone 2-20 in their last 22 games and haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.

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PASSING PROBLEMS

As Dalton struggles through what could be his final season as starter in Cincinnati, he will have a modicum of an excuse considering his best playmaker and career long partner at wide receiver A.J. Green has missed the entire year due to injury, and there are no plans as of yet to bring him back for any of the remainder of the 2019 season. Green’s absence has seen Dalton throw ten touchdowns compared to nine interceptions, though at least his remaining targets got an upgrade last week with the return of speedy wideout John Ross. He will join opposite Tyler as starters on the field, with Boyd having a “blow up” season with Green gone, leading the team in every statistical receiving category and currently sitting at fifth in the league at 119 targets. With receiver Auden Tate injured against the Browns and now lost for the season, more of a focus could be placed on tight end Tyler Eifert, who has just one touchdown in his last eleven games. Though, at least he has been able to stay on the field, as he has played in thirteen games this season compared to just six total in 2017 and 2018.

MIXON IT UP

It took a bit for him to get started this season, but talented yet morally reprehensible running back Joe Mixon has finally hit his stride. After scoring just one touchdown in his first six games, Mixon has now scored five times in his last seven games. He is a real threat both on the ground and through the air, with his six touchdowns on the season split amongst the two options, but he will be looking for sure to make an impression on the ground over the last three games of the year as he is just 211 yards away from clearing the 1000 yard mark for the second consecutive season.

STRUGGLES AND ROBBERY

After losing three of their past five games, New England comes into the week looking to make a quick rebound after last week’s unfortunate loss to the Chiefs at home. The Patriots dug themselves a 23-7 hole but managed to make a strong comeback and could have at least tied the game to send into overtime or more so taken the lead for the win, if not for two egregiously terrible calls by the refs that took touchdowns directly off the board. That along with a blatant pass interference missed against Phillip Dorsett at the Chiefs 5 yards line, left many NFL fans around the country yet again wondering what the f— is going on with the refs as this season yet again, they’ve had a direct effect on the outcome of a game. Unfortunately, the donkey dictator in charge of the league is too busy denying concussions and in general, being a giant black mark on the sport, so it doesn’t seem like any help is on the way soon.

EDELMAN, WHITE & NOTHING

While many are pointing the blame at Tom Brady for the Patriots problems, and he is certainly not playing at the Brady level that we are used to, but the fact of the matter is other than Julian Edelman and James White they have next to nothing else for Brady to work with. Antonio Brown tweeted himself out of the league, a healthy Josh Gordon was mysteriously given up, and that leaves a near bare cupboard of production after Edelman and White. Phillip Dorsett has fallen out of favor with Brady and has three or less receptions in seven straight games, including zero against the Chiefs. A second-round pick was traded for Muhammad Sanu, and after catching ten passes for 81 yards and a touchdown against Baltimore, he has since fallen back to reality and has just six catches for 31 yards and zero touchdowns over his past three games. After that are rookies N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers, who are both inconsistent in route running and Meyers having the added bonus of butterfingers and dropped balls. There isn’t much help at tight end position either, as Ben Watson has just two catches in the past three weeks, and Matt Lacosse has one touchdown in five NFL seasons.

OTHER ISSUES

There are other problems as well for the Patriots, one being every time tackle Marshall Newhouse steps on the field he only adds further proof that he is one of the worst players they have ever had put on a uniform. Other than one trick play against the Chiefs, the play-calling has been not only predictable and ineffective but more so infuriating as you have to listen to announcers talk positively about Josh McDaniels, who gets an unfortunate amount of credit for the Patriots success and is a guaranteed failure when he hopefully leaves to poison another teams’ sidelines.

INERT RUNNING GAME

Whether it be switching it up to James White as the lead back, since he is the only one averaging over 4 yards a carry and is a confusion option for opposing defenses for his ability to both run and especially catch effectively, something has to be done about the Patriots running game. Idiot McDaniels has bailed on it repeatedly, and rather than come up with new schemes or ways to work around their issues, he instead plows Sony Michel forward on early downs for minimal gains over and over and over again. If anything were to happen to Julian Edelman, the Patriots playoff chances would instantly evaporate. Not just because he is second in the league in targets and third in receptions, but mostly because he is the only true receiver they have that Brady actually trusts, and with no other player at the position stepping up, how far they can go with those issues along with their hack of an offensive coordinator remains to be seen.

THE FINAL DECISION

The Patriots’ three losses have all come against division leaders in Baltimore, Houston, and Kansas City. In all three they have dug themselves a hole early (17-0 vs. the Ravens, 21-3 vs. the Texans and 23-7 against the Chiefs), which is something they will not need to worry about this week against an inept Bengals offense that ranks 26th in yards per game and 31st in scoring. One of Bill Belichick’s greatest strengths is his ability to take away the opposing teams best weapon, and with the Bengals only having two real options (Mixon and Boyd), it shouldn’t take much for the Patriots 1st ranked defense in both yards and points allowed per game to shut down whatever Cincinnati has to offer. New England likely has to win out to maintain a hold on the second bye spot in the AFC, and that march will start on Sunday with a very easy win and cover against the Bengals in Ohio.

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