For the third straight week, the New England offense will face-off against one of the most active defenses in the NFL this Sunday.
After pushing New Orleans around and rallying against the New York Jets, the Patriots will see a Cleveland defense that leads the league with 25 interceptions. Currently third in the NFL with a plus-13 turnover ratio, the Browns have allowed just 15 defensive touchdowns, tied for the lowest mark in the conference.
"They are a very aggressive defense," Head Coach Bill Belichick. "They are a tough defense to move the ball against and score on, and they create a lot of turnovers."
There will be an interesting battle ahead for Tom Brady in particular. Cleveland has allowed a league-best quarterback rating of 54.7, while Brady is second in the conference with a 93.4 rating.
Brady will have to be careful against the Browns secondary. Rookie Anthony Henry, a reserve cornerback, leads the team with seven interceptions. Starting right corner Daylon McCutcheon has four picks, and starting strong safety Earl Little is third with three interceptions. With Corey Fuller at the left corner spot, there isn't much of a weak spot to really go after in the Browns defensive backfield.
No Glenn sightings
Despite claiming in news reports that he would be at practice, wide receiver Terry Glenn was not at Foxboro Stadium Wednesday.
Belichick did not want to get into the specifics of the situation, and tried to keep questions about Glenn's status to a minimum.
"Terry Glenn and I were going to get together yesterday, and that just didn't work out," Belichick said. "I expect to get together with him soon. He's not here today."
Belichick said the situation would be cleared up eventually, but he did not offer a timetable.
"I'm sure the situation will be addressed as soon as possible, and I'll let you know as soon as it happens," Belichick said. "Right now I am tied up. I can't meet with him right now."
Asked if Glenn was expected to practice if and when he returned, Belichick replied, "Well, he's not on the injury report."
New England has a much shorter injury list this week, with only defensive end Willie McGinest (leg) and wide receiver Charles Johnson (flu) making the cut. However, Belichick said it would not surprise him if other players get slowed by the flu bug as the week moves along.
For Cleveland, defensive end Courtney Brown is officially doubtful with an ankle injury, and linebacker Tarik Saleh is out with a hip injury. Defensive back Percy Ellsworth (quadriceps), wide receiver Jammi German (knee) and running back James Jackson (ankle) are all questionable.
Goobye and hello Again
Linebacker Maugaula Tuitele was signed to the active roster Sunday prior to the win over the New York Jets and he contributed a special teams tackle. On Monday he was waived. After clearing waivers he was re-signed to the practice squad. The move leaves the Patriots with an open spot on their 53-man roster.
Terrell Buckley's interception to clinch last Sunday's victory was the 40th of his career, ranking him sixth among active players. He trails Ray Buchanan by just one for fifth place… The Patriots have scored on seven straight trips into the red zone, including six touchdowns. They have converted 21-of-39 trips into the red area (53.8 percent), which ranks fifth in the conference and eighth in the league… Antowain Smith has scored a team-high nine touchdowns this season. New England is 5-1 when he gets into the end zone.