Patriots, Browns Key Matchups, Who Has the Razor’s Edge?
Patriots RBs vs Browns Front Seven – Razor’s Edge New England
The Patriots dedicated themselves to running the football in the first month of the season during Tom Brady’s suspension and LaGarrette Blount was the go-to guy, running for 352 yards. He got banged up along with Brandon Bolden in the Buffalo game so it will be interesting to see how well he’s running on Sunday.
The Browns run a 3-4 defense with NT Danny Shelton the big, 6’2, 335-pound run stuffer in his second season clogging the middle. He’s flanked by the big Stephen Paea and Jamie Meder on the line, rookie DL Carl Nassib has been banged up but may return for this one. He’s been very good at the right defensive end position.
With Brady back, the Patriots won’t be as run heavy but still should be able to run effectively on this Browns front seven. They’re giving up an average of 118 yards per game. Look for the Patriots to mix up their looks with obvious run packages and spreading them out and running in the “3-gaps” with Blount.
Patriots WRs vs Browns Secondary – Razor’s Edge New England
The Patriots passing game should start to round into the form we can expect to see this season now that Brady is returning. He may have to shake off some rust but with a bunch of weapons to throw to, he’ll have plenty of options to keep the Browns off balance. Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and rookie Malcolm Mitchell on the outside will be buoyed by Martellus Bennett and Rob Gronkowski at tight end with James White coming out of the backfield.
The Browns got Pro Bowl CB Joe Haden back last week against the Redskins after he missed the OT loss to Miami with a groin injury. He registered five tackles and an interception, his second of the year on Sunday. But the Browns defense will have a tough time matching up.
With Brady back, the offense will be opening up the entire playbook now and no one sees the field as well as #12 does, especially with his pre-snap reads. Look for the Patriots to spread them out and look for mismatches. The tight ends, Bennett and Gronkowski should be primed to see a lot of targets as the Browns don’t match up well in this area. James White out of the backfield should also see plenty of work.
Next up the Cleveland offense:
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Tags: 2016 NFL Season 2016 Patriots season Bill Belichick Buffalo Bills Chris Hogan Chris Long Cleveland Browns Cody Kessler Danny Amendola DeflateGate Dont'a Hightower Hue Jackson Isaiah Crowell Jabaal Sheard Jimmy Garoppolo Joe Haden Julian Edelman LaGarrette Blount Malcolm Butler New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers predictions Rob Gronkowski Rob Ninkovich Terrelle Pryor Tom Brady Trey Flowers