Coming home to Gillette Stadium for a rainy Sunday matchup against the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots are ready, still riding high off of last weeks win. After a 33-0 shutout against the New York Jets, the Patriots (7-0) are looking to continue their winning streak, which is seemingly possible against the Browns (2-4).
The Patriots offense finally seemed to find their rhythm against the Jets; quarterback Tom Brady isn’t showing any signs of slowing down, averaging around 284 passing yards per game, and breaking records left and right. The 42-year-old has had to work with a shaky offense for most of the season, but after last week, they’re starting to look solid. A huge part of the solidity is running back Sony Michel, who rushed for three touchdowns against the Jets.
Veteran tight end Ben Watson was released and re-signed within a week, and proved a valuable asset to the offense; running backs James White and Brandon Bolden have been holding their own in the backfield and seeing an increase in action and rising to the challenge. The acquisition of Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu this past week adds to the dominating offensive force with wide receivers Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett. Even with the impending release of current IR wide receiver Josh Gordon, Brady should have the same synchronicity he found with his offense last week.
The Browns are returning to the field after a bye week, aiming to break up their back to back losses. The Patriots defense looks to continue their historic season, but they have a few hurdles to clear before they can. Cleveland running back Nick Chubb has been a powerhouse this season, in both rushing and reception yardage. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has also been a force to be reckoned with, though as he’s hinted at a desire to play for the Patriots in the past, the possibility of outdoing himself in the hope of extra showmanship could be detrimental to his performance.
New England's defense also needs to have eyes on defensive end Myles Garrett, who is tied for the NFL lead for sacks, boasting nine, will be aiming for Brady quickly and often. Brady’s quick release time will make it harder for Garrett to steamroller him to the ground, but the defensive line needs to be ready to put a stop to that immediately.
Here are the Patriots' inactives for today:
15:00 The Browns won the coin toss and elect to kick off.
13:27 Through a camera soaked lens, the Patriots punt after being unable to move the ball down the field.
12:32 A 46 yard punt caught by Olszewski.
10:58 Brady throws a huge 3rd down conversion to Dorsett, who pulls the ball in with ease, as though it isn't soaking wet.
9:04 4th down conversion. Edelman with a huge diving catch.
8:34 Michel finds a hole through the line with excellent blocking by Tomlinson to rush into 1st and goal position.
6:35 Nugent to attempt a 20 yard field goal.
FIELD GOAL IS GOOD NE 3 - CLE 0
5:45 Hand off to Chubb is fumbled, kicked out of his hands by his own lineman, recovered by Hightower for a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 10 - CLE 0
5:30 What started as a total breakaway run by Chubb, Jones comes in for a huge tackle, knocks the ball loose; recovered by New England.
4:05 New England's signature 3rd down conversion, huge throw to Dorsett for a new set of downs.
2:32 Mayfield literally just tossed the ball to Guy. Basically handed the football to the opposing team... are there ghosts?
1:47 Brady fires the ball to Edelman who drives into the end zone for a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 17 - CLE 0
1:33 Chubb finally got a 16 yard rush before being pushed out of bounds.
12:54 After a Cleveland possession that had more flags than movement, the Patriots offense is back out on the field working to rush the ball.
11:44 Brady is sacked and brought down hard; quick blitz.
10:27 The first catch of the game for Landry to get the Browns a new set of downs.
7:46 Harris grabs the ball out of the air in a long pass from Mayfield the Browns first touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 17 - CLE 7
7:09 Michel rushes the ball for a new set of downs; this man finds holes in the defense incredibly consistently.
6:15 Brady throws a 23 yard pass to Edelman, who are finally back in rhythm together. It's great to see the two of them connecting so well, especially through the rain that's coming down so hard it looks like snow.
4:16 Brady is forced to throw the ball away. The ball is being snapped incredibly low this afternoon.
4:07 Sanu gets a new set of downs on 4th and 4. Cleveland throws a challenge flag.
3:47 Cleveland's challenge is under review. The ruling stands, first down Patriots.
3:38 On this drive alone, this is the second flag thrown for hands to the face against the Browns. That is illegal, we all agree, right?
2:19 Nugent's field goal attempt is blocked by Ward.
:28 Mayfield was having a decent drive; with that sack, he was driven into the ground.
HALFTIME NE 17 - CLE 7
13:06 Chubb is having quite the game rushing the ball. The Browns are taking advantage of his size and speed every chance they get.
11:04 Going to cover Harris, Chung's helmet steps in to deflect the ball on what could have been a huge reception at the goal line.
8:37 Siebert attempts 38 yard field goal.
FIELD GOAL IS GOOD NE 17 - CLE 10
8:22 White catches a screen pass and runs for 59 yards for another huge 3rd down conversion, cutting across the field with exceptional precision, putting the Patriots in great scoring position.
6:12 Brady in the pocket with pressure finds Edelman in the end zone for a touchdown.
PAT IS GOOD NE 24 - CLE 10
4:10 Michel is just such a machine; jumping over the line, picking up another new set of downs.
3:00 Vernon broke through line and sacked Brady for a loss. Time to punt.
:44 Harris picks up a first down on a decently thrown pass by Mayfield.
14:10 Collins brings Hilliard down with a big hit short of a first down.
13:26 Cleveland has thrown a challenge flag on the field for the second time today. The call stands, challenge denied.
12:17 Sanu catches a great pass from Brady, marching the ball down the field and solidifying a solid trade decision.
10:22 Meyers picks up another set of downs. He's been relatively quiet so far today, but he's playing well.
9:12 Brady airs out a spiral through the rain to Watson, with a huge pickup for Watson's first catch of the day.
7:43 Nugent for 29 yards.
FIELD GOAL IS GOOD NE 27 - CLE 10
7:32 Landry is down and injured after a big hit by Jones.
6:17 Mayfield overthrows to Beckham, who throughout the course of this game has been wildly underused.
6:07 Winovich literally chased Mayfield down with Butler and brought him down at the 14. What a sack.
4:07 Nugent attempts a 34 yard field goal.
FIELD GOAL IS NO GOOD NE 27 - CLE 10
3:49 Mayfield airs a long pass to Beckham for a huge gain.
2:45 A solid run by Mayfield is just shy of a first down for Cleveland, but a nice pickup for a struggling team.
2:38 Browns attempt a field goal in vain.
FIELD GOAL IS GOOD NE 27 - CLE 13
:55 Collins explodes through the line and sacks Mayfield for a 10 yard loss.
END OF GAME NE 27 - CLE 13
Congratulations Head Coach Bill Belichick on his 300th career win.