FOXBOROUGH — After spending Monday morning going over film of the Patriots’ 13-6 loss Sunday to the Bengals, Bill Belichick said New England had its chances in Cincinnati, but let them slip away.
He acknowledged there were a couple of unfortunate plays, or ones in which the ball just didn’t bounce the Patriots’ way, but the team has to focus on the things that don’t fall into the “luck” category.
“I think there’s always going to be a few of those plays in the game that you say, ‘That was fortunate for us,’ or ‘That was unfortunate for us.’ You hope those even out in the long run,” he said.
“We have to do a better job with the things we can control. Sometimes the ball does take a funny bounce . . . but we have to do a better job on the things we can control.”
One of those situations came at the end of the third quarter when the Patriots had the Bengals backed up against their goal line. A Tommy Kelly/Jerod Mayo sack of Andy Dalton, which was almost a safety, had Cincinnati in third and 15 from the 2.
The Bengals ran their play quickly, before New England could get all of its players in position, and Dalton hit Marvin Jones with a sideline pass for 28 yards. The Patriots were unprepared.
“It’s a play that we’ve dealt with before — the other team is in a long-yardage situation, just goes on a quick count like Cincinnati did, and just runs everybody down the field,” Belichick said. “We’ve seen it through the years; it’s not anything revolutionary. But they did a good job of it, they got set, they snapped the ball quickly.
“We definitely weren’t set when the ball was snapped . . . mostly we got into position but obviously it was not a good play on our part. It was definitely a strategic play that worked for them. They caught us on it.”
Belichick also said it wasn’t the Bengals “pattern” to run a quick-snap play like that on third down, but the Patriots still should have been prepared.
After the pass to Jones, rookie back Giovani Bernard ripped off a 28-yard run, helping to set up the game’s only touchdown and the winning margin for Cincinnati.
The Bengals sacked Tom Brady on the second snap of the game, when All-Pro tackle Geno Atkins dropped him for an 8-yard loss. It appeared left tackle Nate Solder was to blame, but Belichick credited Atkins with not biting on the play.
“It was a play-action pass, one that we’ve run many times through the years,’’ Belichick said. “On that particular play, I don’t think Geno really took much of the play-action. He penetrated [and] we weren’t really able to get a solid block in front of him because we were selling the run. He made a good read and a good play on it.
“I think we could have executed it better, but it was a good play on his part.”
Solder also had a pass thrown his way later in the game, running a short end-zone route, but it appeared Brady overthrew him.
On Monday, Solder laughed as he talked about the play, and whether he had been interfered with on his route.
“I didn’t really know how to handle that; I just ran the route they told me and it didn’t work out,” he said.
Cornerback Alfonzo Dennard was scheduled to be back in a Nebraska courtroom Tuesday for a hearing pertaining to his July 11 DUI arrest, but the Lancaster County Clerk’s office said the hearing has been continued and will be held Nov. 13 at 1:30 p.m.
That is five days before the Patriots’ Monday night game against Carolina, which comes after the team’s bye week.
The continuance was actually decided on Sept. 20, four days after Dennard appeared in court and admitted that the July incident was a violation of his probation that had been outlined three months earlier. That hearing had been continued twice before it occurred.
Earlier this year, Dennard was found guilty of striking a Lincoln, Neb., police officer during an April 2012 incident; at his sentencing, Judge Stephanie Stacy gave him 24 months probation and 30 days in jail to be served in March 2014.
The Patriots re-signed cornerback Marquice Cole and waived safety Kanorris Davis and linebacker Ja’Gared Davis.
This is the third time this season Cole has been released and re-signed. The veteran has been a core special teamer, but he also has been nursing a hamstring injury.
Both Davises were promoted off the practice squad Saturday and played on special teams Sunday in Cincinnati. It would not be a surprise to see both brought back to the practice squad.
By waiving two and adding one, the Patriots have one open spot on the 53-man roster.