By: Ian Logue
Much has been said about the Patriots pass rush – or lack thereof this offseason. The talk has continued heading into the first game this weekend against the Bengals, and what that may mean for the defense.
After all, if the Patriots can put pressure on Carson Palmer, it would certainly make life a little easier and take some of the pressure off of 2nd year cornerback Darius Butler, along with rookie Devin McCourty who are both facing the daunting task of matching up against the likes of veteran receivers Chad Ochocinco, and Terrell Owens on Sunday.
Interestingly enough out in Cincinnati, they’re worried about the same thing. There is plenty of respect for Tom Brady coming from the media there, and they’re wondering if the Bengals can put enough pressure on him to avoid a big afternoon for New England’s offense.
According to Joe Reedy of Cincinnati.com, while the Bengals had 15 sacks during the preseason, none were by the first unit front seven. That leaves Bengals fans concerned as Reedy points out that Brady has seven touchdowns in three games and is unbeaten against them.
Meanwhile Palmer is entering his eighth NFL season and the veteran quarterback is focused on starting the year off strong. He’s pretty happy that the expectations are low from the media regarding his football team, and he’s hopeful that they can fly under the radar and that this weekend’s game against the Patriots will be the first of many wins for his team this season.
“I think part of that is the stigma of being in Cincinnati – people just expect you to lose and don’t ever think much of you,” he said. “We’re in a good division and we play good teams, but we’ve had success in this division just like Baltimore has and just as Pittsburgh has. I don’t know why we’re picked to be third. It’s just kind of a negative outlook on Cincinnati from other cities and other teams. That can’t affect us and that shouldn’t affect us because we know we’re a good team and we know we have to go out and prove it.
“We’ll fly under the radar early, but if we rip off a handful of wins early we’ll be the marked team and I’d rather be in that situation.”
OTHER NOTES: A couple of milestones to watch for this weekend, which could potentially come at New England’s expense. Reedy points out that Ochocinco needs just 48 yards to become the 33rd player in NFL history to get 10,000 yards, while Owens needs 49 to become the third to reach 15,000.