The rainy conditions couldn’t stop the Patriots as they improved to 8-0 by defeating the Browns 27-13. Here’s what we can take away from today’s win.
1. Defense - The defense set the tone early and made a statement in the first quarter. On the Browns first seven offensive plays, the Patriots defense forced three turnovers. It all started with a fumble recovered by Dont’a Hightower for a touchdown. In the next Browns’ offensive series, Jonathan Jones showed off his speed as he chased Nick Chubb down the field. Jones forced a fumble on the tackle, and the ball was recovered by Devin McCourty. Later in the quarter, Baker Mayfield shovel passed the ball directly to Lawrence Guy. It was Guy’s first career interception.
2. James White - In the second half, Mayfield and the Browns offense came out of the locker room with a 12 play drive that ended in a field goal. Up to that point the Patriots offense wasn’t exactly clicking. That was when Brady connected with White on a third and 10 screen pass. White gained 59 yards on the play in what turned out to be the turning point in the game. Four plays later, Brady found Edelman in the end zone for a touchdown. It was Edelman’s second of the game, but it was the explosive play by White that got his team out of a jam and stopped Cleveland from making it more of a game.
3. Julian Edelman - The wide receiver had another of his clutch performances when yards were tough to come by. He finished with eight hard-earned catches for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
4. Bill Belichick - With today’s victory, the head coach reached a milestone. It marked his 300th career victory. Belichick is just the third coach in league history to achieve the feat.
1. Red zone offense - This continues to be a weakness. Much of this is due to the running game’s difficulty in short yardage situations and a lack of a true red zone target for Brady. The Patriots were forced to settle for field goal attempts on four separate trips.
2. Mike Nugent - A difficult day for the Patriots kicker. One of his field goal attempts was blocked. Later in the game, Nugent missed a 34-yard field goal attempt.