It was expected to be a close hard-fought defensive game between the Patriots and Browns but it turned out to be a one-sided blowout. The Patriots offense dominated wire-to-wire scoring 45 unanswered points and after allowing an opening drive touchdown, the Patriots defense throttled the Browns offense, holding them scoreless and just 1-11 on third down.
With the 45-7 win, the Patriots have won their fourth game in a row and have answered another bell. The Cleveland defense entered the game third in the league, allowing only 84 yards per game and 3.4 yards per rush. With Damien Harris out, Rhamondre Stevenson who missed practice all week while in the concussion protocol ran for 100 yards on 20 carries (5.0-yard average) with two touchdowns as the team rolled up 184 yards on the ground. Other quick observations include:
Mac Jones was outstanding today completing 19-23 (82.6 %) for 198 yards, 3TDs, and 0 INTs for a passer rating of 142.1. Jones was cool in the pocket and made some big-time throws. His best was a 23-yard laser between two defenders to Kendrick Bourne for a TD. Jones’ only blemish was holding the ball too long which resulted in a sack by Myles Garrett.
Kendrick Bourne had a big day, besides making a great catch in the end zone, he was the Patriots’ best receiver on the day, hauling in 4 passes for 98 yards and a score. He had a 48-yarder from Brian Hoyer late in the game. He added 43 yards on three carries.
What a great game for Stevenson the rookie from Oklahoma. Last week he had 100 yards from scrimmage. But today, going against a very tough Browns defense, he ran for 100 yards and added 14 more on 4 catches. He and Damien Harris are going to be a tough 1-2 punch to stop.
Brandon Bolden only had 3 carries but rumbled for 32 yards, he added 38 yards on 3 catches. The Patriots averaged running backs averaged more than 5.5 yards per rush.
Jakobi Meyers finally scored a touchdown, on a pass from Brian Hoyer late in the game to round out the scoring. The Patriots bench emptied in rushing on the field to congratulate him. Meyers finished with four catches for 49 yards and a score.
Hunter Henry continues his scoring hot streak catching two more touchdown passes from Jones. He finished with 4 catches for 37 and the two scores. He and Jones are developing some great chemistry in the red zone…it has been a long time since we said that about a Patriots tight end.
The Patriots’ defense got off to a slow start but after the Browns’ opening-drive touchdown was the dominant force on the field. D’Ernest Johnson had 62 yards rushing on the opening drive touchdown, but after that, found no room to run. For the final three and a half quarters, he managed just 37 yards.
Everyone’s favorite whipping boy N’Keal Harry was a force blocking in the running game, on one play, he absolutely leveled Myles Garrett springing Stevenson for a big gain. Late in the game, he and Hoyer hooked up with a nice 26-yard pitch and catch.
The front seven was outstanding, going against an excellent Cleveland OL, they closed up the holes and brought a ton of pressure on Baker Mayfield and later Case Keenum, sacking them five times for 36 yards. Mayfield, as we wrote in our pregame keys, gets in trouble on 3rd and long situations and today was no exception. He threw a bad pick to Kyle Dugger and should have thrown another to J.C. Jackson.
Mayfield ended up just 11-21 for 73 yards (3.5 yards average gain per pass), he had a touchdown and a pick. His passer rating was just 56.3. The Browns overall completed 19-33 for just 118 yards net passing.
Austin Hooper was held to just 4 catches for 25 yards, while David Njoku only caught one pass for 11 yards. Jarvis Landry had 4 for 26. The only effective pass catcher was Johnson who caught seven for 58, although most were in garbage time.
The Patriots were an outstanding 7-9 on 3rd down, and 5-6 in the red zone, and only punted once, where Jake Bailey got a 66-yard punt and roll.
Even more impressive was that the Patriots didn’t turn the ball over and kept the penalty flags to a minimum, with just 6-46 including a roughing the passer penalty that was close. They held the ball for more than 34 minutes.
This was a dominant performance against a good team that is in play to win their own division. As always, the team seems to play its best football in November and beyond. With a short week, they have to travel down to Atlanta to face a Falcons team that was blown out by Dallas today.
Bill Belichick and the coaching staff have to be very pleased with the effort, against a potential playoff team, the Patriots dominated. Things are definitely trending upward.
Be sure to check out our positional report card for the game soon.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Austin Hooper Baker Mayfield Bill Belichick Cleveland Browns D'Ernest Johnson David Njoku Deatrich Wise Dont'a Hightower Jakobi Meyers Kyle Van Noy Mac Jones Matthew Judon Myles Garrett New England Patriots NFL Patriots Patriots edge rushers Rhamondre Stevenson