Patriots 27, Browns 13: 10 quick thoughts from milestone win

Ryan Hannable
October 27, 2019 - 7:35 pm
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FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots got their biggest test since Week 4 in Buffalo, and they passed.

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While it wasn’t their most dominant performance in the last several weeks, led by their defense, the Patriots beat the Browns 27-13 at Gillette Stadium to improve to 8-0 on the year.

The win was No. 300 overall for Bill Belichick.

Here are 10 quick thoughts on the game.

1. The Patriots defense was the story again. It finished with five sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. Including blocked punts, it has now scored six touchdowns this season, while it has only allowed four. The Patriots are now 38-3 at home under Belichick against first or second-year quarterbacks. Jamie Collins led the way with 11 tackles against his former team.

2. While Tom Brady was effective -- going 20-for-36 passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns -- he certainly wasn't comfortable for the majority of the game. The Browns were able to pressure him, which makes sense considering Isaiah Wynn remains on IR and Shaq Mason missed the game with a knee injury. James Ferentz took his place at guard and Marshall Newhouse remained at left tackle.

3. The play of the game came in the third quarter with the Patriots leading 17-10. It was third-and-10 from their own 16-yard line and a screen to James White went for 59 yards, setting up a touchdown to put the Patriots up by two scores again. Things could have gone differently if the Patriots were forced to punt on that drive.

4. The Patriots defense forced turnovers on three straight plays in the first half. Nick Chubb fumbled twice and Baker Mayfield threw an interception. It’s starting to be a thing where the Patriots defense is starting to get of the heads of its opponents before the ball is even snapped.

5. Mohamed Sanu made his Patriots debut and took away a decent amount of snaps from rookie Jakobi Meyers. Sanu finished with two catches on five targets for 23 yards and will likely see his role increase more as he learns the entire offense.

6. Speaking of the passing game, it was relied on heavily by James White and Julian Edelman. Brady was 12-for-16 with 153 yards when targeting them, compared to 8-for-20 for 106 yards when targeting everyone else.

7. While things have changed over the last several years with both players’ health, it’s clear Nick Chubb is the better running back than Sony Michel. The two played together at Georgia and Michel was selected in the first round, while Chubb was a second-round pick. Michel finished with 74 yards on 21 carries, while Chubb had 20 carries for 131 yards. He did fumble twice, though.

8. Penalties were a big part of the game, as the Browns finished with 12 for 80 yards, while the Patriots had just three for 15 yards . They also game at bad times, too. Cleveland was moving the ball on several occasions, only to go backwards because of penalties.

9. Given the rainy conditions, kicking was even more of a challenge. The Patriots had a field goal blocked for the first time since Week 3 of 2006. Every other team had a least two field goals blocked since that time. Mike Nugent also missed a 34-yard kick late in the game.

10. Apropos of nothing, just looking at the two sidelines was telling. Rules say teams must stay behind the yellow line and the Patriots rarely have a single player or coach that go past it. On the other side of the field, Browns players and coaches were practically on the field. 

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