Bengals look to spoil Brady’s homecoming
This summer during training camp, New England Patriots fans never missed an opportunity to let Tom Brady know they were thinking about him.
He was weeks away from the start of his fourgame “Deflategate” suspension, and every time he stepped on the field he was showered with cheers and serenaded with “Brady! Brady! Brady!” chants.
After a successful regular-season debut at Cleveland last week, today is Tom Terrific’s homecoming. “I think we’ll see how it plays out,” Brady said. “But yeah, I know they’re expecting a good crowd. We’ll be fired up, too. I mean we’re playing a great team. We’re 4-1, it’s not great, but we’re in a decent position.”
It will also be the latest challenge for a Bengals team that has had very limited success against Mr. Brady.
Cincinnati (2-3) is coming off a 28-14 loss at Dallas last week and is trying to avoid its first 2-4 start since 2010, when it finished 4-12 — its worst season under Marvin Lewis. The Bengals also would match their regular-season loss total from 2015, when they tied the club record with a 12-4 mark.
Brady enters today 5-1 overall and 3-0 at home against Cincinnati, which has never beaten the Patriots since they moved into Gillette Stadium in 2002.
Bengals receiver Brandon LaFell, released by the Patriots in March after two seasons in New England, said he knows they will get Brady at his best.
“He doesn’t lose in that stadium hardly ever, so it’s going to be hard,” he said.
The Bengals haven’t won at New England at all since 1986, dropping their last six, including 43-17 loss in 2014.
That meeting came a year after Cincinnati’s 13-6 win at home, in which Brady had a streak of 52 straight games with at least one touchdown pass ended. Otherwise, Brady has had his way with the Bengals, throwing for 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his five wins against them.
“It ultimately comes down to how well you’re playing as a team,” he said. “It’s never where you play, it’s really how you play.”