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MORSE: 15 Observations from Week 10 – Patriots vs Browns

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
2 hours ago at 9:04 am ET
Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season

MORSE: 15 Observations from Week 10 – Patriots vs BrownsBrian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots owned 3rd down on both sides of the ball.  On Offense, they converted 7 of 8 in the 1st half, 5 of 6 were passes, 1 run, and another on a Defensive Pass Interference.  On Defense, they owned the Browns holding them to 1 for 11.  This was an old-fashioned shellacking.  The Cleveland Browns are frauds.  They are supposed to be the #3 Defense overall and especially against the run.  Today they gave up 184 yards rushing.  Rhamondre Stevenson, who didn’t practice all week, had a coming-out party with 100 yards rushing and two TDs.  The Offensive Line dominated the D-line and LBs of Cleveland.

  1. Mac Jones was 5 for 6 passing on 3rd down in the first half with his only incompletion was at the end of the 1st half,  Several were 3rd and long, one was 3rd and 13, and another 3rd and 9.  Jones was a spectacular 19 of 23, 198 yards, 3 TDs, and no Interceptions.  Three TDs and no interceptions by a rookie QB has only been accomplished one time in Patriots history, all the way back in 1960.  I loved Tom Curran’s quote “Jones is real and he is spectacular” which is a takeoff on a famous Seinfeld scene.  Jones was sacked once by Myles Garrett (so haven’t a lot of other QBs in the league) when he held onto the ball too long.  Other than that he was great.  The long ball was featured in this game too.  He is not playing like a rookie and should be the favorite for Rookie of the Year.  His pass over the tp to Kendrick Bourne was a thing of beauty.  He also recognized a blitz, changed out of the play and handed it off to Stevenson for a big gain.
  2. The Patriots had three drives of 90+ yards on Sunday. That did not include the opening drive of 83 yards, which took 9:39 off the clock.  When Cleveland got the ball back, there were just :38 seconds left in the 1st quarter.  Three plays later Kyle Dugger made the Interception and return, leaving the ball at the 5.  Game Over.   The Patriots scored on all 4 of their 1st half possessions for 24 points.
  3. Kyle Dugger led the team in tackles with 8. None better than his tackle on special teams.  He flew downfield on the Kickoff team and planted the Kick returner.  Stopped him right in his tracks.  Add his Interception and he had himself quite the day.
  4. That was quite the team celebration over Jakobi Meyers TD reception yesterday. I have never seen such a gathering in the endzone for a player.  It seemed like the whole team came down to celebrate with Meyers.  In the post-game press conference, Meyers said the fact that all the players came to the end zone to celebrate with him meant more to him than the TD itself.  I don’t think this will be the last time we see Meyers in the endzone.
  5. In my preview, I stated that the O-line that imposed its will would win the game. The Patriots O-line of LT Isaiah Wynn. LG Ted Karras, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason, LTs Trent Brown, and Michael Owenu dominated.  Curious choice to have Trent Brown start at RT and then have Michael Owenu sit out.  I am convinced that Owenu has a problem playing on the left side of the line.  It’s quite the load when the Pats bring in Owenu as the extra TE.  Cleveland coming into the game was ranked as the #3 Defense and 3rd against the run.  The Patriots obliterated that with 184 yards rushing.  Cleveland is light in the middle at both tackles.  Garrett and Clowney are more pass rushers than run stoppers.
  6. What can you say about the performance by Rhamondre Stevenson? He rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries after being out all week in the Concussion protocol.  He also chipped in 2 TDs and 4 catches.  What I like about Stevenson is the first hit never brings him down.  He dropped one pass, but overall his pass-catching is good.
  7. Don’t sleep on the contribution of Brandon Bolden either. He had 3 runs for 32 yards and 3 catches on 3 targets for another 38 yards.  Bolden also maintained his play on all four special teams units during the game.  Another unsung hero is FB Jakob Johnson.  He didn’t appear on the stat sheet, but his blocks from his Fullback position have been a key to opening up holes in the defenses.  What he does is not glamourous but his contribution should not go unnoticed.
  8. This was the most that we have seen of N’Keal Harry. His contribution by blocking, especially on Myles Garrett was very noticeable during the game.  He also made a nice site adjustment and catch on a 26-yard throw from Brian Hoyer.
  9. I can’t even complain about the play calling! Give Josh McDaniels credit.  It was reported during the game by analyst Charles Davis that Hunter Henry when asked about McDaniels called him a genius.   The Defense (whoever is making the calls) made the adjustments after the 1st series where the Browns marched right down the field and scored.  The initial drive was 84 yards on 11 plays.  The next 4 drives by Cleveland resulted in 17 total yards and 2 of the 4 drives were negative yards and one was the Interception by Dugger.  The Pats had 5 sacks and held Cleveland to 1 for 11 on 3rd  Also, that 1st drive that scored a TD, McCourty nearly had a terrific Interception that just got away from him on third down.  Cleveland scored on a 4th down pass to Austin Hooper.  Magnificent job by the defense.
  10. Strong game from Kendrick Bourne who had the acrobatic catch between two defenders for a 23 yard TD from Jones. The ball was thrown high so that Bourne and only Bourne could catch it.  The passing TD capped off a 99-yard drive.  Bourne also added 3 rushes for another 43 yards.  He had 4 catches for 98 yards.  No Patriots receiver has a 100-yard game through 10 games.
  11. Baker Mayfield had perhaps his worst game as a Pro. His stat line was 11 of 21, barely 50%, 73 yards a TD, and Interception.  His QB rating was 32.2.
  12. Hunter Henry has become quite the red zone target. He had two on Sunday and has 7 TDs, which leads the league among TEs.  That’s 7 TDs in the last 7 games.  His shake-and-bake move at the Line of Scrimmage against a very good safety in John Johnson, left him standing there and Henry burst open for a clean TD.
  13. Jake Bailey only punted once but that was a 66 yarder. His kickoffs were very effective too.  I noticed that he was taking very few run-up steps to the Kickoff if he was trying to keep the ball out of the Endzone and force a return.  Several times Cleveland didn’t make the 20-yard line.
  14.  This game was as close to the perfect game as I have seen.  People were saying what the Patriots would be like when they put it all together.  That game is what it’s like.   The Patriots are legitimate playoff contenders.  They are a threat to win the division again.
  15. Bill Belichick in his post-game press conference stated that it’s already Wednesday. He was referencing that it’s a short week with the game against Atlanta on Thursday night.   Well, it’s Wednesday night for us too at  I will be posting my Atlanta / Week 11 Preview on Thursday morning.

Posted Under: 2021 Patriots Season

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    Steve Basile
    31 minutes ago

    Good stuff as usual Mark. Feels like Jones is getting in sync with his targets (all of them, which is nice) and the play calling (except the usual run off tackle on 1st that usually fails) has been more varied and advantageous. Balanced is the word that comes to mind. Running enough to make them fear the run, passing well enough to make them fear the out routes, ST doing their job, I like the way this team is growing. And #10 continues to advance and shine.

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