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Joe Burrow, Bengals hold off Patriots

Dec 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow threw for 375 yards and three touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bengals survived a second-half comeback to down the New England Patriots 22-18 on Saturday afternoon in Foxborough, Mass.

After trailing 22-0 in the third quarter, New England (7-8) clawed its way back to within 22-18 with 6:02 left after Jakobi Meyers caught a 48-yard TD pass that had ricocheted off Scotty Washington.

The Patriots had a chance to take their first lead of the game with 59 seconds left to play, but Rhamondre Stevenson fumbled at the Cincinnati 8-yard line to seal the win for the Bengals (11-4), who clinched a playoff berth on Thursday when the Jets lost to Jacksonville.

Burrow completed 40 of 52 passes with a pair of interceptions, one of which was returned for a 69-yard touchdown by Marcus Jones. That pick-six ignited New England’s rally, which ultimately came up just short.

Tee Higgins had eight catches for 128 yards and a TD, while Trenton Irwin had a pair of receiving scores for Cincinnati.

Mac Jones threw for 240 yards and two touchdowns on 21-for-33 passing for the Patriots, who have lost two straight and four of their last five. Kendrick Bourne had six catches for 100 yards and a TD, and Meyers finished with six receptions for 83 yards.

Irwin hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Burrow with 14 seconds left in the first half to send Cincinnati into the break with a commanding 22-0 lead.

The Bengals dominated the first 30 minutes of action, outgaining New England 303-70 while also picking up 22 first downs compared to the Patriots’ three.

Burrow carved up New England’s defense on the game’s opening drive, completing 4 of 4 passes for 73 yards, including a 9-yard scoring strike to Higgins. Evan McPherson missed the extra point, though, leaving the Bengals ahead 6-0.

Burrow went on to complete his first 11 pass attempts, with the ninth completion being a 23-yard TD pass down the seam to Irwin. McPherson’s kick went wide again, but an unnecessary roughness penalty negated the play. Cincinnati’s subsequent two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful.

McPherson redeemed himself with a 28-yard field goal at the beginning of the second quarter to make it 15-0.

–Field Level Media