Friday, March 7, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (4-0) at CINCINNATI BENGALS (2-2)
WHEN: Sunday, 1 p.m.
SERIES RECORD: Patriots lead 14-8
LAST MEETING: Patriots beat Bengals 38-24, Sept. 12, 2010
LAST WEEK: Patriots beat Falcons 30-23; Bengals lost to Browns 17-6
PATRIOTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (11), PASS (17)
PATRIOTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (16), RUSH (14), PASS (17)
BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (22), PASS (15)
BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (13), RUSH (11), PASS (13)
STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Patriots are trying to start 5-0 for first time since 2007, when they won 18 games before losing to Giants in Super Bowl. ... Patriots have won 13 of last 14 games in regular season, including six straight on road. ... Patriots have won last four games against Bengals and seven of last eight. ... Tom Brady has thrown a TD pass in 52 consecutive games, second-longest streak in NFL history behind Drew Brees (54). ... Brady has 341 TD passes, one behind Hall of Famer Fran Tarkenton for fourth-most in NFL history. ... Brady is 4-0 career against Bengals, completing 69.7 percent of passes for 937 yards with 10 TDs, two interceptions and passer rating of 114. ... Rookie WR Kenbrell Thompkins played at University of Cincinnati and worked out for Bengals out of college. He has nine catches for 168 yards and three TDs in last two games. ... Bengals have won five of last six at home. They'll be facing a high-powered offense for second straight game at Paul Brown Stadium. They beat Aaron Rodgers and Packers 34-30 on Sept. 22, forcing four turnovers. ... Cincinnati's offense failed to score a touchdown in Cleveland, the first time it didn't get into end zone since playoff loss at Houston ended last season. ... DT Geno Atkins had 11/2 sacks at Cleveland. He leads NFL defensive tackles with 15 sacks since 2012.
-- The Associated Press
"That's really a great strength of ours. The more we do that, the more that's going to set up what we do: play-action. And you can get some really clean, easy throws if we continue to do it well."
Blount is sharing the running back load with Stevan Ridley (who leads the team in rushing with 174 yards, followed by Blount with 155) and Brandon Bolden. When Shane Vereen returns from his broken wrist, he will add another dimension to the game.
And while every back would love to be the guy who carries 20 to 25 times a game, Blount understands the roles the backs have.
"I don't have a problem with what I'm doing now," he said. "It is what it is. However many times they tell me to carry the ball or however many times they want me to carry the ball, I'll carry it."
He simply loves the emphasis the Patriots are putting on the run.
"It's part of being physical," he said. "(Belichick) tells us that a lot, that we have to be physical. We have to be a hard-nosed, tough team. And running the football is part of that."
Having a stable of three running backs keeps everyone fresh.
"Everyone comes in with fresh legs and can continue doing what the other guy came off from doing," said Blount. "They're going to continue to go out there and pound the football and whenever they get tired, you have another fresh back coming in."
The Patriots are putting him back on kickoff returns as well. While he's only had a chance to return four kicks in four games, averaging 21 yards a return, he's enjoying it.
"I like being on the field at any time," he said, "especially when there's a chance to get my hands on the ball."
Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: