American Football

Patriots vs. Bengals: Cincinnati extends early lead to 12-0 over New England


Patriots vs. Bengals: Cincinnati extends early lead to 12-0 over New England
Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images

New England looks to improve to 8-7 on the year.

After a heartbreaking last-second defeat last weekend, the New England Patriots return home to Foxboro to take on the Cincinnati Bengals. New England needs a victory to maintain a realistic shot at the playoffs, but have a daunting task in front of them that starts with the defending AFC Champions, who have won 10 out of their last 12 games, including six straight.

Follow along here for all your live updates and everything else you need to know.

Live Score: Patriots 0 : 12 Bengals

December 24, 1 p.m. ET | Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA | Broadcast Information | Inactives

First quarter

After winning the coin toss, the Patriots deferred putting Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense on the field first. Burrow got right to work, as he found tight end Mitchell Wilcox for an eight-yard gain before finding Tee Higgins downfield for 39 yards – who went up and over Marcus Jones to make the snag. Quickly down in New England territory, Burrow hit Joe Mixon out of the backfield for a 17 yard catch and run to move into the red area. Two plays later Burrow found Higgins again for a nine-yard touchdown. The extra point was missed, however. [Patriots 0 : 6 Bengals]

On New England’s first offensive drive of the day, they failed to get anything going. A first-down handoff to Rhamondre Stevenson picked up two-yards, then a RPO handoff to the back picked up four. On third-down, nobody was open downfield and Mac Jones was brought down for a sack. New England punted after an opening three-and-out.

Injury Report: DB Brenden Schooler (shoulder) is questionable to return.

Looking to extend their early lead, running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine got to work through the air and on the ground picking up 18 yards on the first four plays from scrimmage. Facing an eventual third-and-three, Burrow was able to escape the pocket and convert by himself. Several plays later just outside the New England red area, Burrow launched one to the end zone and connected with Trenton Irwin for a 23-yard touchdown. Evan McPherson missed a second straight extra point, but a defensive penalty negated it. Cincinnati decided to go for two, but the handoff was stuffed by New England. [Patriots 0 : 12 Bengals]

The Patriots again started their next drive with two straight handoffs to Stevenson, who picked up six yards before losing two on the next carry. On third-down, a miscommunication led to Mac Jones throwing one in the ground near Stevenson leading to a punt.

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