CINCINNATI, SEPT. 23 -- Jim Breech kick-started the Cincinnati Bengals' sluggish offense with a record kick today.

Breech's 46-yard field goal set a consecutive-game scoring record and started a 31-point spree that carried the unbeaten Bengals to a 41-7 victory over the ragged New England Patriots.

The kick gave him points in an NFL-record 152 consecutive games, topping Fred Cox's mark for Minnesota. Cox's string ended at Riverfront Stadium on Dec. 2, 1973, when the Bengals shut out the Vikings, 27-0.

Breech didn't want another 151-game streak to end on the same turf.

"I was glad to get it out of the way early," Breech said. "When I saw it fly through, I said, 'Yeah!' I got that over, and it got us off to a quick start.

"That gave us three points early and set the tone. We played the best game we have all year."

The Bengals, off to the fourth 3-0 start in franchise history, forced four turnovers as they raced ahead, 31-0, in the first half. Cincinnati's offense struggled in its first two games, failing to score a rushing touchdown while turning the ball over five times.

The Patriots helped the Bengals get the kinks out.

New England (1-2) came into the game with the best turnover ratio in the NFL, but self-destructed with four fumbles, two interceptions, two blown coverages on defense, a botched punt and an end zone interception nullified by a holding penalty.

"Everything that could happen to us did today," said Marc Wilson, who threw two interceptions. "Maybe that's good -- we got out everything that could go wrong. Maybe we can learn from our mistakes and go on from here."

There's plenty to learn from. The Patriots' incompetence surprised even the Bengals, who had expected a close game.

"This is a better {Patriots} football team than they showed this afternoon," Bengals Coach Sam Wyche said. "We had one of those halves that come along every so often."

It started with an interception on Wilson's first pass, a poorly thrown ball caught by cornerback Lewis Billups on the Patriots 39. Four plays later, Breech's kick, pushed by an 18 mph wind, got the record and got the offense rolling.

Boomer Esiason threw a 42-yard pass to Eddie Brown in double coverage for a 10-0 lead, and the Bengals took command by tricking the Patriots on fourth and goal from the 4 later in the first quarter.

Rodney Holman lined up at the right end of the line for an apparent 21-yard field-goal attempt by Breech, then slid behind the line to take a shovel pass from holder Lee Johnson. He went in uncontested for a 17-0 lead.