Foxboro, Massachusetts – For the fourth week in a row, the Patriots find themselves in the winning slot. New England qualified to a 45-7 defeat against the Cleveland Browns to go to 6-4 on the season. Out of the gate, it was Brown who managed to hit first, traveling 84 yards at the 11-yard open to get down 7-0. From there, it was all of New England. The Patriots would respond immediately with a 15-play touchdown campaign on their first possession, which then led to a 45-0 run.
Safety Kyle Dugger was able to hop in front of a ball thrown by Baker Mayfield shortly after Cleveland’s second possession of the game, returning it deep into the Browns’ area as the Patriots were rushing in for another score to go up 14-7. After the initial touchdown drive, Brown threw that spin and vehicle twice before entering the locker room at the break, while the Patriots would score on both possessions over the first two quarters and lead 24-7. In the second half, they kept going by taking another 21 points and escaping with the win.
McJones finished his day completing 19 of 23 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns before turning the ball over to Brian Hoyer midway through the fourth quarter. It was the first time in the young rookie’s career that he was thrown for three touchdowns in a game. Two of those scores came from his burgeoning relationship with Hunter Henry, who grabbed his four goals from Jones for 37 yards. Ramondry Stevenson filled in on injured Damien Harris (concussion) and rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Mayfield — who left this game in the second half with a knee injury — finished with a 73-yard pass, touchdown and interception.
For more information on how this game has evolved, check out the takeaways below.
Why did the Patriots win?
You couldn’t ask for a much better start to the game than what Sunday’s Patriots attack turned out to be. Jones & Co dropped 24 consecutive points before the break, and scored every single one of their possessions in the first half. New England was also 6 of 7 in third place in the opening two quarters (7 of 9 for the game). This ability to convert at the bottom of the awkward assisted the attack on a total of three scoring drives that traveled more than 90 yards. Meanwhile, the defense contained Brown for the greater part of the afternoon, locking them in in the final three quarters after allowing for the opening touchdown. New England also played supplemental football, most notably with a interception by Dowger in the first quarter which was immediately followed by Stevenson’s quick touchdown.
Why did Brown lose?
For a minute, it looked like we were going to have a competitive game with the ball in our hands after Browns managed to score on their opening possession. However, Cleveland then silenced the initial drive and was closed for the last three quarters. The main reason Brown struggled to collect points was their poor third-place play, turning only one of their 11 chances on the day. As the attack struggled to pile plays and move down the field, the defense had no answer for what the Patriots were bringing to the table offensively. They allowed 452 total attack yards (7.3 yards per game) and six total touchdowns. Allowing this level of production won’t win you many football matches even if the offense is finding a groove.
In Cleveland’s second possession of the game, Mayfield slipped backwards to pass the third and seventh attempt from his 32-yard streak. He was pressed from the middle and threw a pass in heavy traffic on the right side. Duger was able to jump in front of the shallow throw and make the interception. It put it 37 yards back to the Cleveland 5-yard line and the Patriots were able to immediately score at a short distance by Stevenson (first of three on the day). This interception broke the tie 7-7 and helped to continue what could grow to 24-0 to finish the first half making the game unattainable as these clubs went into the break in the first half.
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The Patriots’ third result in the afternoon was the most impressive. After starting the drive on their 1-yard streak, Jones & Company would stage a 99-yard touchdown drive that resulted in what was arguably the most impressive throw of Jones’ season to date. On the Cleveland 23’s second and fifth attempt, Jones slipped and provided a shot from 23 yards over the middle to Kendrick Bourne, who jumped and hit two defenders to pull off the pass. On that flight, Jones completed 3 of 4 for 61 yards and that touchdown, which would put New England up a two notch.
From here, the Patriots will have a quick turnaround as they head to Atlanta to face the Falcons in Thursday Night Football to open Week 11. Meanwhile, Brown will return to Cleveland to wait for the Detroit Lions.
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