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Game Predictions: Expert picks for Patriots vs. Browns

Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 8 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.


Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 8 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.

Mike Reiss, ESPN:

Pick: Patriots 30, Browns 13

It'll be an interception party. Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield leads the NFL with 11 interceptions, the most by a Browns player through six games of a season since Paul McDonald in 1984 (12). Meanwhile, the Patriots' defense has totaled 18 interceptions. In the past 30 years, only the 1996 Packers had more picks through the first seven games of a season (20).

Jake Trotter, ESPN

Pick: Patriots 28, Browns 20

Bold prediction: Nobody has scored more than 14 points against the Patriots, but Cleveland will become the first behind an inspired effort. Of course, it still won't be enough to win with Tom Brady on the other side.

Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots

Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots

Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots

Dan Graziano, ESPN: Patriots

Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots

Louis Riddick, ESPN: Patriots

Gregg Rosenthal,

Pick: Patriots 27, Browns 24

The Baker Mayfield-Odell Beckham Jr. connection has underwhelmed through six games. OBJ is averaging 8.1 yards per target, significantly less than that of Jarvis Landry or even Ricky Seals-Jones. That's a result of poor timing from the duo, poor throws from Mayfield and a surprising amount of catchable passes Beckham hasn't come down with. I'm fascinated to see how Freddie Kitchens and Mayfield will attempt to fix the issue in Foxborough, especially with Beckham likely to draw Stephon Gilmore plenty. New England's heavy press-man-coverage approach should be susceptible to big plays, but the Pats haven't faced an offense explosive enough to take advantage of their aggression. This Browns offense is fully capable of spiking for one week and resetting expectations after a shaky start, but I don't trust their coaches, players or defense to handle all the situational-football pressure Bill Belichick and Tom Brady apply in a surprising thriller.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:

Pick: Patriots 27, Browns 13

This looked like it would be an enormous game for both teams when the schedule came out. Now the Browns are trying to survive, while the Patriots are the league's best. The Cleveland offense has been bad this season, and the Patriots have the best defense in the league. Bill Belichick will eat up another young quarterback. Pats big.

Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots

Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots

Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 35, Browns 16

The Browns have a long way to go to become the Patriots. On Sunday, the Browns will find out just how far they have to go, the hard way.

Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:

Pick: Patriots 27, Browns 7

This is not the defense for Baker Mayfield to get on track against. It could get ugly in New England.

Jenny Vrentas, MMQB: Patriots

Conor Orr, MMQB: Patriots

Andy Hart, WEEI

Pick: Patriots 27, Browns 13

Proven production trumps potential every time. That's really what this game boils down to. Are the Browns capable of upsetting the Patriots at Gillette? Probably. Is it likely? Probably not. The talent just hasn't come together with any consistency for Cleveland under Kitchens' questionable leadership, whereas New England has played to and maybe beyond its talents, at least on defense, throughout the first half of the season. So many numbers and matchups say New England will control this game. But, it must continue to execute to get that done. Certainly Jarvis Landry's non-guarantee win guarantee will be used as motivation by Belichick's driven troops. In the end it will be about clean play. Belichick's well-coached squad is far cleaner than Kitchens' team that's sloppy with the ball, sloppy with penalties and hasn't played up to its talent with any regularity. Look for the Patriots to run the ball and continue to be a conservative work in progress in the passing game on the way to a 27-13 victory in which turnovers, once again, help keep the home crowd quite happy.

Paul Perillo,

Pick: Patriots 27, Browns 10

The league leader in interceptions (Bake Mayfield, 11) meets the league leaders in interceptions (Patriots, 18). Expect some interceptions.

Mike Dussault,

Pick: Patriots 28, Browns 10

The Browns explosiveness on offense will be a good test for the Patriots defense, but shutting down Nick Chubb will be a focal point as well. With Mohamed Sanu in the mix the Pats offense should be better tailored to Tom Brady's strengths, but they're still a couple weeks away from locking in on the personnel they'll take to the playoffs. It should be more of the same – defensive domination, early scripted offensive output is enough to hold up.

Erik Scalavino,

Pick: Patriots 30, Browns 13

A lot of wind and rain is being forecast for New England on Sunday, but that should only play into the Patriots' hands, especially defensively. Browns QB Baker Mayfield will already have a tough go against the NFL's top D, and the messy weather could complicate matters for him even more. Meanwhile, the Patriots are anything but a finished product on offense, and Cleveland presents a challenge on the opposite side of the ball. New England's defense and/or special teams could once again help out with the point total as the Patriots improve to 8-0 and head coach Bill Belichick earns his 300th all-time NFL victory against the team he used to coach.

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