Tom Brady doesn't handle interior pressure well. He is great when he's able to step up in the pocket – but when pressure comes from the middle, he struggles.
When the Patriots recognize they are at a disadvantage when it comes to the interior pass rush, they have typically gone to very quick passing attack. They used a lot of 12 personnel spread out wide – read the defense pre-snap to find the mismatch, and throw the ball before the interior pass-rush can have an effect on the play.
Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and Danny Woodhead were all guys who were able to really take advantage of mismatches. These guys are gone – and while guys like Gronk, Edelman, and Amendola, can still cause some match-up problems – it is no comparison to what the Pats have been doing over the past 3 years.
I agree with McGinest. I'm not sure the Bengals are a better team than New England – but they match up with them much better than most teams.