Wednesday’s decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to deny New England quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension for doctoring footballs is not only disappointing for Patriots fans, it also could be bad news for the Cincinnati Bengals.
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Barring the unlikely event of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the decision, Brady’s first home game in 2016 will be in Week 6 at home against the Bengals.
Cincinnati fans saw what an angry Brady and the Patriots did to the Bengals in 2014 when everyone buried the team following a 41-14 loss to Kansas City. After a week of dealing with questions about whether Brady was washed up and needed to be benched, the two-time MVP led the Patriots to a 43-17 destruction of a hot Bengals team that had started the season 3-0.
If Cincinnati fans are expecting that extra spark the always-fiery Brady is likely to have that day will be offset by some rust from missing the first four games, they are likely to be disappointed.
Brady has hardly proven to be a slow starter during his 16-year career.
Taking out his rookie year of 2000 when he didn’t start any games and 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury early in the Patriots’ 17-10 victory against Kansas City, Brady is 12-2 in his first start of the season, completing 65 percent of his passes for an average of 325 yards per game with 31 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a passer rating of 99.1.
And when it comes to his first home start of the season, Brady has gone 13-1 while completing 66 percent of his passes for an average of 317 yards with 28 touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 103.4.
About the only thing working in the Bengals favor in this scenario is that the game won’t be played in primetime, unlike the 2014 thrashing.