Keep your eye on ...
1. New England's defensive alignment: While Bill Belichick's defenses have been known for their versatility and ability to operate out of both the 3-4 and 4-3, the team has most commonly opened games in a 3-4 alignment. But with the current depth of talent on the defensive line (especially with the recent addition of Derrick Burgess), combined with the lack of depth at linebacker, the Patriots went to the 4-3 more often than usual against the Eagles. Watch to see if Belichick continues that trend against the Bengals in order to get more of his best players on the field at the same time.
2. Joey Galloway's chemistry with Tom Brady: Reports out of training camp suggest that the 37-year-old Galloway has been slow to get on the same page as Brady and the rest of the receivers. Galloway was on the field against the Eagles, but did not catch a single pass. Look for him to get more involved on Thursday.
3. Chris Henry stepping up:Carson Palmermay miss Thursday's game with a sprained ankle, but that shouldn't have much of an effect on Henry, who caught six of his seven catches last Saturday from backups J.T. O'Sullivan and Jordan Palmer. Henry has been working hard at camp and it showed with his 100-yard performance last week. He'll look to build on that against the Patriots, regardless of who is throwing to him.