Tom Brady's 52-game TD pass streak is over. Just don't blame it on the rain.
The Cincinnati Bengals' defense pushed Brady and the New England Patriots' offense all over the field Sunday, well before a torrential downpour hit in the final few minutes. The Bengals knocked the Patriots from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 13-6 win because they harassed Brady from the first snap of the game to the last.
Brady was hit repeatedly and missed open throws when they were there. It was the lowest point total for New England in 117 games. Brady's consecutive games with a passing touchdown streak ends two games short of tying Drew Brees' all-time NFL record.
Brady couldn't grip the ball as he tried to tie the score late, but that doesn't explain the other 58 minutes of the game. The Patriots dropped back to pass 42 times. That resulted in 166 net yards. Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's group is one of the very best in the entire league. The offense has plenty of work to do, but Cincinnati grabbed a much-needed win to get to 3-2.
Here's what else we learned in this game:
1. Marvin Lewis repeatedly tried to not let Andy Dalton beat himself. The Bengals refused to throw the ball on third-and-5 late in the first half and got very conservative trying to run out the clock late. It's hard to win that way every week. Lewis did show nice aggressiveness by going for it on fourth-and-goal at the goal line in the fourth quarter. BenJarvus Green-Ellis delivered the game's only touchdown.
2. With all that said, Dalton outplayed Brady in this game. Dalton made a number of nice plays on third down to move the ball in the second half with his legs and his arm. He made a terrible interception in the first half on a throw across his body, but otherwise, this was a step forward.
3. Danny Amendola looked healthy in his first game back with New England. He didn't play a full complement of snaps, but it was close.
4. Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes were flying around for a much-improved Patriots defense. It was one of Mayo's best career games. It sounds crazy, but the defense is the stronger side for New England.