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Patriots wake up in 2nd half, dominate Bengals with 35-17 final score

The Patriots took care of business in the second half to move to 5-1.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady threw for 376 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. TE Rob Gronkowski set a career high with 162 receiving yards and a touchdown. RB James White added 2 touchdowns of his own.

The Patriots defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 35-17.

After a slow first half, the Brady, Gronkowski, and the Patriots offense erupted in the second half and the team ran away with the lead.

The Patriots looked like they were in for a long half when the Bengals receiving the kick off and marched down the field. QB Andy Dalton hit WR A.J. Green for a big 3rd and 5 for 23 yards, and then connected with WR Brandon LaFell for a 5-yard touchdown and a 14-10 lead.

The Patriots got the ball and after a nice 16-yard run by Blount, the drive stalled on a 2-yard loss by Blount, a false start penalty, and a sack on Brady. New England had to punt the ball back to Cincinnati.

The rest of the half was all Patriots.

The Bengals were pinned deep by the goal line and perfectly timed blitz by LB Dont’a Hightower forced a safety for the second-straight week and cut the lead to 14-12. The Patriots took advantage of the short field position from the subsequent punt.

Brady hit TE Martellus Bennett for 24 yards and then Gronkowski for 38 yards, to set up an easy 4-yard touchdown grab for Gronkowski as the Patriots took a 19-14 lead.

The Bengals went three-and-out and Brady went back to Gronkowski for another 38-yard grab and then to Bennett for 11 yards to set up an easy 4-yard touchdown grab for White. Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski missed the extra point so the Patriots settled for a 25-14 lead.

The Bengals needed a big drive on their next possession so they had to convert a 4th-and-1 at midfield, but the Patriots stopped the drive on their own 7-yard line and Cincinnati had to settle for a field goal, cutting the deficit to a one-score Patriots lead 25-17.

The Patriots needed to extend their lead to two scores and they went back to work, despite some chippy behavior by the Bengals:

Brady hit Gronkowski for another 29-yard gain, but a taunting penalty on Gronkowski negated the gain and set the Patriots up on a 1st and goal from the 23-yard line. The drive stalled and the Gostkowski hit the 31-yard field goal to take a 28-17 lead.

More importantly, that drive drained 6:30 off the clock and the Bengals never had a chance to mount a comeback.

The Patriots forced the Bengals to punt with 3:32 left in the game because Cincinnati knew the game was over and the Patriots just ran out the rest of the clock.

Just kidding, the Patriots wanted to run out the clock, but RB LeGarrette Blount ran over the Bengals defense and into the end zone with 0:57 left in the game to take a 35-17 lead, which was ultimately the final score.

The Patriots are now 5-1 and they will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 7.