New England Patriots: Studs and duds vs. Bengals in Week 15

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images /
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New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Stud: Patriots defense

Perhaps the biggest stud in Sunday’s victory for the New England Patriots came once again on the defensive side of the ball for the Patriots. The New England defensive unit stepped up big as they have nearly all season long to this point in the regular-season schedule, managing to force Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton into throwing a total of four interceptions, while also forcing the Bengals to commit one fumble in the contest.

Leading the way for the New England defense was Stephon Gilmore, who finished with two interceptions in the contest, including one that he was able to return for a touchdown. J.C. Jackson also added two interceptions of his own for the Patriots defense.

It has been extremely important to have New England’s defense step up and hold opponents in check so far here in 2019, and that was the case once again in Week 15.

Dud: Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman has been relatively consistent and stellar all season long, providing quarterback Tom Brady with a target in the passing game while oftentimes leading the New England receiving group through the air throughout the course of a contest.

On Sunday in Week 15, however, Edelman managed to haul in just two catches for a total of nine yards in the passing game, being targeted a total of five times throughout the game. It will be important for Edelman to get back to being the consistent target in the passing game for the remainder of the regular season for the Patriots starting with the Week 16 contest next weekend.