As the old saying goes: the more things change, the more they stay the same. For the New England Patriots, this meant another week and another opponent but the same disappointing outcome.
The Cincinnati Bengals visited Gillette Stadium on Christmas Eve, and the Patriots came out flat despite needing a win to keep their realistic playoff hopes alive. Cincinnati jumped to a 22-0 halftime lead, and appeared to be cruising to an easy victory.
New England did make things interesting again in the second half, though, scoring 18 unanswered points and seemingly driving for the game-deciding touchdown in the late fourth quarter. However, a Rhamondre Stevenson fumble ended the hopes for a successful comeback and left the Patriots losing 22-18.
They are now 7-8 on the year, and have only a outside chance to make it into the tournament.
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