New England Patriots defeat Cincinnati Bengals, 38-24

FOXBOROUGH — It would be overstating things to claim that we’ve never heard or seen anything like this before.

We have, after all, seen Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, and there was the night in Miami when Billy Sullivan yanked coach Chuck Fairbanks off the field before the start of a game. We watched Roger Clemens set himself on fire in Oakland and Don Zimmer make a bull rush for Pedro Martinez.

But as meltdowns go, this was one of the best. Think of it as Courtne...

FOXBOROUGH — Patriots rookie cornerback Devin McCourty was targeted on the first play of the Bengals’ season yesterday.

Quarterback Carson Palmer threw deep to Terrell Owens along the left sideline, but McCourty defended perfectly, knocking the ball out of Owens’s hands. It wasn’t the only time the Bengals picked on New England’s young corners, and McCourty welcomed the attention.

“Just to be able to make that play gave me a little bit of momentum and kept the defens...

FOXBOROUGH — Fast start, stunning finish.

That’s one way to summarize the Patriots’ 38-24 season-opening win over the Bengals yesterday at Gillette Stadium.

The fast start came courtesy of the offense and the defense, as the Patriots scored 10 points in their first two possessions and held Cincinnati to just one first down on its first three possessions, forcing a turnover on the third.

New England was up by three touchdowns by halftime, a big enough cushion to wi...

FOXBOROUGH -- Flamboyant Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco used Twitter last week to brag that if he scored a touchdown against the Patriots, he was going to celebrate by grabbing one of the Minutemen's muskets. But the only shot fired today at Gillette Stadium was by the Patriots: a warning shot to the rest of the NFL.

When Ochocinco scored on a 28-yard touchdown reception with 22 seconds left in the third quarter to cut the Patriots' lead to 31-17, he qu...

FOXBOROUGH — It would be overstating things to claim that we’ve never heard or seen anything like this before. We have, after all, seen Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch, and there was the night in Miami when Billy Sullivan yanked coach Chuck Fairbanks off the field before the start of a game. We watched Roger Clemens set himself on fire in Oakland and Don Zimmer make a bull rush for Pedro Martinez.

But as meltdowns go, this was one of the best. Think of it as Courtne...

FOXBOROUGH — There’s a reason the Patriots just made Tom Brady the highest-paid player in the history of professional football.

And it’s not because they plan on digging up the ol’ defense-and-running-game formula to carry them through the 2010 season.

New England’s season-opening 38-24 win yesterday over the Bengals revealed a few things, but nothing was more apparent than the fact that this team is as reliant on No. 12 as it ever has been. Brady was 25 of 35 for 25...

The biggest impact Randy Moss made yesterday came not on the field, but postgame in his surreal, Ellsbury-esque address.

Ramblin' Randy's 14 minutes of truth are no doubt the talk of the town today, so it's easy to forget about the statement the Patriots' offense made on the field during their 38-24 regular-season ribbon-cutting win over the Cincinnati Bengals: This offense strives to be more than just pitch-and-catch with Moss and Wes Welker.

Those preseason proclam...

I know what y’all are thinking, and I’m not here to start trouble. Y’all are going to read what you want to read, believe what you want to believe, post the comments you want to post. But I just want to get it off my chest that I really don’t care what Randy Moss says. I just want him to play football.

Boston being what it is and professional sports being what they are, we all know how this looked yesterday at Gillette Stadium, and we all know how it’s going to play out...