By: Kristen Parker @nepatsgirl87
The New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns have only met 23 times in the regular season. The Browns are actually up on the Pats 13-10 all-time. Coach Belichick has been on both sides as the winner.
The last time these two teams played was 2013 in Foxboro. It was a close game, with the Patriots winning 27 to 26. The Browns have lost the last 5 out of 6 meetings with the Pats.
The Browns are struggling this year as the only winless team left in the NFL. The Patriots are coming off a shutout loss to the Buffalo Bills, but are still sitting on top of the AFC East at 3-1.
Who to Watch For
This week is anybody’s guess as to how McDaniels runs the offense. The heavier run game, has worked more or less over the last three weeks. However, with Tom Brady back in the game, the passing game might pick up momentum.
It looks like rookie quarterback, Cody Kessler gets the start against the Patriots. He has started in Cleveland’s last two losses against Miami and Washington. Kessler is not a mobile quarterback, so keeping him in the pocket should be easy enough for the Pats defense. He averages just over 230 yards passing, 6 yards per pass and a touchdown.
Browns’ wide receiver, Terrelle Pryor is the guy to watch downfield versus Malcolm Butler. So far this year, Pryor has had just one game over 100 yards and one touchdown, but he does average over 15 yards per catch. He can catch, run and throw the ball, so it will be important to keep defenders close by. Belichick said that Pryor “[has] been really impressive. He has shown the ability to really do everything that you could ask of a receiver really, or a football player….He’s a dynamic player for the Browns and has a lot of different skills.” Kessler does not usually throw deep, but Pryor has a height advantage on Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler. Kessler might want to test the Pats defense.
Isaiah Crowell is the guy on the round that the Patriots need to keep contained. Crowell is in his third year with Cleveland. He is the Browns’ leading rusher with nearly 400 yards and 3 touchdowns this year. The Patriots sit in the middle of the pack in the NFL at 15th against the run. It is important they do a better job than last week at holding Crowell to short yards and no first downs.
Browns Cornerback, Joe Haden discussed the problems defending Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett. He said they are “very, very good receiving tight ends and both of them are big dudes that can block so they are Tom Brady’s main targets. You just have to make sure you stay on top of them.” Haden will have his hands full with either of these tight ends because of their height advantage on him. Haden does have two interceptions in the last two games, so Brady will have to keep an eye on him.
I said it last week and I will repeat it this week. Tom Brady is a master at picking apart defenses. He can usually find the weak spot and make plays to take advantage of that weak spot. This week, the Patriots do have the luxury of Tom Brady back at center.
The Patriots have Tom Brady back. He has a chip on his shoulder. The rest of the team has a chip on their shoulder. I say Patriots 35, Browns 10.
Photo credit: www.bdcwire.com