The New England Patriots improved to 6-4 and extended their winning streak to four games on Sunday, November 14 at home against the Cleveland Browns. Both teams entered the weekend hurting from a list of injuries, but firmly in the AFC Playoff picture.
Here was the Twitter reaction to the highly anticipated Week 10 matchup, which ended in a 45-7 blowout in favor of Bill Belichick and company.
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The Browns came out and made a statement with their offensive line. The unit helped to power a dominant, 11-play, 84-yard touchdown drive culminated by a short TD pass from Baker Mayfield to Austin Hooper in the back of the end zone on fourth down. The strong start gave the Browns a 7-0 edge after the first drive and it left many like USA Today’s Henry McKenna recognizing Cleveland’s dominance up front.
To make matters worse, CB Jalen Mills injured his arm and had to enter the blue tent. As ESPN’s Mina Kimes mentioned, CB is the one position the Patriots can’t afford to have another player injured.
Thankfully, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Mills returned to action.
The Patriots responded to the Browns’ opening drive with their own 15-play, 83-yard TD drive. New England’s offensive line helped push rookie Rhamondre Stevenson to 25 rushing yards on six carries, and Mac Jones had success throwing the ball to receivers and backs in the screen game.
The drive was finished off by a three-yard TD pass from Jones to Hunter Henry. Nick Folk’s extra point tied the game. The TD was Henry’s sixth in as many consecutive games. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal congratulated offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for a strong first drive.
Here is the play:
Early in the second quarter, Mayfield throws an ill-advised pass into double coverage. Patriots safety Kyle Dugger intercepted the pass and returned it to the six-yard line. Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard slams Mayfield for his 3rd-and-long struggles.
NBC Sports’ Phil A. Perry offers statistical perspective:
Here is Dugger’s interception:
Stevenson punched it in on the first play from scrimmage after the interception to push the Patriots to a 14-7 lead following Folk’s extra point. Here is Stevenson’s TD:
After the Jakobi Meyers misjudged a punt and allowed the ball to roll to the 1-yard line, Jones ignited a statement-making 99-yard TD drive that was finished off by a bullet 23-yard TD throw to Kendrick Bourne.
Overall, it was probably the Patriots’ most impressive offensive drive of the season. The extra point made it 21-7 New England.
Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema lauds Jones’ play and the Patriots’ drive on a whole.
The Patriots’ defense has stiffened significantly since the first drive. On the downside, Trent Brown, who returned to the lineup for the first time since Week 1, was removed from the game favoring the injured calf again. CLNS’ Evan Lazar believed the big man was likely done for the week.
The Browns had a chance to stem the tide at the beginning of the second half. The Patriots’ defense stiffened and the offensive line re-established themselves and the dominance.
Jones led the Patriots on another successful drive. This one lasted 8 plays and spanned 52 yards. The screen game was again a major weapon ad Brandon Bolden had two big gainers from that play on the drive.
Stevenson powered in for his second TD of the game to push the lead to 31-7 and the rout was officially on. McKenna and Lazar continued to praise the play of the offense and the team overall.
Things got even worse for the Browns, who were already short-handed with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt out. A hit from Matt Judon knocked Mayfield out of the game in the closing minutes of the third quarter.
Backup Case Keenum had to replace Mayfield. Here is the hit from Judon:
Judon is playing out of his mind. He sacked Keenum on the very next play. It took his total for the year to 9.5.
The Patriots aren’t taking their feet off the gas pedal. This one is beginning to look like the 54-13 blowout win over the New York Jets. Jones tossed his third TD pass of the game and the second to Henry.
The lead is at 38-7 for the Patriots. It was the first 3-TD game of Jones’ career.
Jones is going to sit this one out as backup QB Brian Hoyer will finish the game.
In what was the ultimate victory cigar, Jakobi Meyers finally secured his first TD reception of his career. The Patriots steamrolled the Browns 45-7. Twitter exploded after the score.
Unfortunately, the celebration for Meyers’ TD was dampened by what looked to be a serious injury to the Browns’ Troy Hill. Meyers broke Hill’s tackle and the latter appeared to injure his neck. He was taken off the field on a stretcher but appeared to be moving his extremities.
Looking ahead, the 6-4 Patriots have everyone in the NFL’s attention.
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