The Patriots faced the Bengals at home, their first meeting with Cincinnati since the "We're on to Cincinnati" game that marked their turning point in an eventual Super Bowl-winning season two years earlier.
The Patriots took the opening kickoff and marched 47 yards with in 8 plays with placekicker Stephen Gostkowski chalking up a 46-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead. The Bengals moved the ball well, reaching midfield, but couldn't get any further and punted. The Patriots once again drove into Cincinnati territory on their next drive, but were forced to punt. The Bengals proceeded to march 89 yards in just under 9 minutes, but the Patriots defense made a goal-line stand to keep the Bengals scoreless. On 3rd-and-8 from the Patriots 38, Andy Dalton connected with running back Giovanni Bernard for a 32-yard gain to the Patriots 6. On 1st-and-Goal, Bernard gained 5 yards to the Patriots 1. On 2nd-and-Goal, Bernard was stuffed on for no gain. On 3rd-and-Goal, Dalton threw an incomplete pass bringing up 4th-and-Goal at the 1. The Patriots stuffed Bernard for no gain for a turnover on downs. The Patriots couldn't capitalize though and were forced to punt. The Bengals raced 60 yards in just 7 plays, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Dalton. The Patriots countered, charging 75 yards in merely 8 plays culminating in Brady's 15-yard touchdown pass to running back James White. The Patriots led 10-7 at the halfway point.
The Bengals took the opening possession of the 2nd half and rushed 80 yards in 9 plays, ending in Dalton throwing a five-yard touchdown pass to former Patriot, Brandon LaFell giving Cincinnati a 14-10 lead. The Patriots punted on their very next drive, but three plays after penning the Bengals at their own 16, Dont'a Hightower burst through the middle on a blitz and sacked Dalton for a safety. Now trailing 14–12, the Patriots raced down the field on a 68-yard drive, with Brady throwing for every yard, culminating in his 4-yard touchdown pass to Gronkowski, putting the Patriots ahead 19–14 lead late in the third quarter. After a Bengals three-and-out, the Patriots began to take over. Starting at their own 47, the Patriots went a lightning fast, 4 plays for 53-yards with Brady finding White again on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Gostkowski missed the PAT for a second game in a row, but the Patriots led 25–14. With a 38-yard completion to Gronkowski on that drive, Brady completed his 5,000th pass; the completion put Brady fourth in all-time quarterback completions while Gronkowski also reached the 22nd game with at least 100 receiving yards in his career, tying Jackie Smith for third all-time by a tight end. The Bengals responded by driving 68-yards to the Patriots 7, but could only settle for a 25-yard field goal by Mike Nugent, making the deficit to one possession, 25-17 early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots countered again by slowly advancing 62-yards in over 6 minutes with a 31-yard Gostkowski field goal widening the lead to 28–17. The Patriots defense forced the Bengals to punt again on their next drive with Julian Edelman returning it 23 yards to midfield. The Patriots put the game away with a 9 play, 50-yard drive, scoring on running back LeGarrette Blount's three-yard touchdown run. Two plays later the game was over.
The Patriots improved to 5–1.