Let’s take a look back on some important games between the two clubs through the years:
First Meeting: The first meeting between these two teams took place on Dec. 1, 1968, with the Patriots winning 33-14.
Tom Sherman started at quarterback for the Boston Patriots and threw for 142 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Jim Nance rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown. Jim Whalen had 79 receiving yards and two touchdowns while Gino Cappelletti also caught a touchdown.
Jeff Stofa got the start for the Bengals, and he had 103 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Estes Banks and Rod Sherman reeled in the touchdown passes in what was an otherwise disappointing game.
Most Lopsided Game: The most lopsided game was just a couple of years later, on Dec. 20 in 1970. The Bengals won 45-7 in blowout fashion.
Joe Kapp was Boston’s starter, and he threw for 101 yards with a touchdown along with an interception. Ron Sellers caught the lone touchdown pass and accounted for the only points the Patriots put up.
Sam Wyche started for Cincinnati and had 91 passing yards with two touchdowns along with a rushing score. Virgil Carter also saw playing time at quarterback and had 96 passing yards and a touchdown. Paul Robinson had 36 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground along with a receiving score. Chip Myers and Speedy Thomas also reeled in touchdowns in this game.
Most Recent Matchup: The Patriots and Bengals most recently played on Dec. 15, 2019 — a game marked by controversy: New England had a video guy not associated with the football operations caught filming the Bengals sideline leading up to this game, and was eventually stripped of a third-round draft pick because of it. The Patriots still won 34-13.
Tom Brady started this game for New England and threw for 128 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rex Burkhead had 53 rushing yards and a score, while James White and N’Keal Harry each had receiving touchdowns. Stephon Gilmore added a 64-yard pick-six in the third quarter to put the Patriots on the track to victory.
Andy Dalton drew the start for the Bengals, and he struggled with just one passing touchdown and four interceptions: Gilmore and J.C. Jackson both caught two of his pass attempts. Cethan Carter caught that lone touchdown, meanwhile, and Randy Bullock made two field goals to give them 13.
Most Memorable Matchup: These two teams have not met in the playoffs, so the most memorable matchup has to be the “On to Cincinnati” game in 2014. The Patriots, who were questioned after a 41-14 beatdown in Kansas City the previous week, dominated en route to a 43-17 win.
Brady threw for 292 in this game along with two touchdown passes. Stevan Ridley ran for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Shane Vereen added 90 yards on the ground. Rob Gronkowski had 100 receiving yards with a score, and fellow tight end Tim Wright added 85 yards through the air and a touchdown. Kyle Arrington had a 9-yard fumble return for a touchdown and Stephen Gostkowski made five field goals and four extra points to get to 43.
Dalton was decent for Cincinnati and had 204 passing yards and two touchdowns. A.J. Green led the Bengals with 81 receiving yards and a TD, while future Patriot Mohamed Sanu tacked on 70 and a score. Mike Nugent added a 23-yarder to get 17.