The Patriots picked up both Brandon Browner, newly back from his suspension, and Darrelle Revis to thrive in a physical secondary. They both are best when they're playing tight with opposing receivers and in the immediate area to defend the ball. Through four weeks, the secondary hasn't played in this fashion.
Well, Andy Dalton and the Bengals should change that.
Dalton has yet to be sacked on the year and a lot of that is due to his quick release time. He leads the league with 81.4% of his passes releasing prior to 2.5 seconds, according to Pro Football Focus. Additionally, his average time to release is 2.05 seconds, again first in the league.
If the Patriots want to deter him from passing quickly, they'll need the defenders close to the receivers off the line of scrimmage and in the way of any quick passes. This is the ideal game to test the ability of the new secondary.