CINCINNATI -- Wallace Gilberry, in his ever honest and matter-of-fact delivery, told reporters Wednesday that he wished the New England Patriots had won their game Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.
"Because you know they're going to come back out reloaded and hungry," said Gilberry, a veteran Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle. "We're definitely hungry, too. It's like two hungry lions trying to eat. It's going to be a fight."
The Patriots (2-2) will host the Bengals (3-0) in a nationally televised game Sunday night that many believe could finally validate Cincinnati's place atop the NFL -- if the Bengals win.
Several Bengals acknowledged Wednesday that while they were a little surprised by New England's 41-14 blowout loss in its trip to Kansas City, their perception of the reigning AFC East champion hasn't changed. It's still a franchise that has had its share of success in the last decade and a half. Together, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have won three Super Bowls. Brady also is a nine-time Pro Bowler, even if his play behind a patchwork offensive line in Week 4 didn't really show it.
Brady was 14-for-23 against the Chiefs, amassing just 159 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions.
"The way that game turned out doesn't show the kind of team that they are," Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton said. "Obviously it kind of got out of hand, and the score was pretty lopsided, but that's not the team that they are. It shows you've got to play every [week] because if a few things don't go the right way, it can turn out like that. But they're a talented team. They've been a good team for a long time so we know we're going to get their best."
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis knows the Patriots aren't satisfied with the way they played Monday and that they will be out to prove they are better than they showed.
"They've got a lot of good players and generally play very well together," Lewis said.
Gilberry contended that while it was easy for the narrative of this week's game to focus on the Patriots and their apparent ineptitude during this early stage of the season, he and his teammates are looking from within for motivation.
"I can't worry about [New England]," said Gilberry, who added that he watched Monday night's game live. "All I can worry about is doing my job and not making mistakes because every Sunday is a different Sunday. I'm going to expect them to come out there and be the New England Patriots; and that's a smart, physical football team.
My job is to go out and counter anything they give me. I can't worry about how they played last week. You can see in this league that teams get beat by 10, 15 points, and then come back and blow another team out. We don't want that to happen.
"We're not going to underestimate them, nor buy into what happened last week."