The Cleveland Browns will face the New England Patriots and both teams are having quite a resurgence. The Browns thumped the Cincinnati Bengals 41-16 in Week 9, finally playing the way they had been expected to before the start of the season. With both teams at 5-4 and playing better than they have all season, the game is anyone’s to take.
The Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots are Both Having a Resurgence
Just like Cleveland, the Patriots are experiencing a sudden good run and both teams are expected to come in hot Week 10. New England won their last three games against the New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, and Carolina Panthers.
The Browns managed to claw their way out of last place in the AFC North into third place, trailing the Baltimore Ravens by a game and a half. The Patriots, who had a miserable 2020 season, are currently second in the AFC North, only trailing the Buffalo Bills by half a game.
As they both look to stay competitive, here are some things to watch out for.
Baker Mayfield Could Play His Best Football Yet This Season
As was predicted by so many, Baker Mayfield finally found his rhythm upon the exit of Odell Beckham Jr. In turn, both he and the Browns played their best game of the season thus far. Mayfield threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns. His QBR of 141.5 was his best of the season. Mayfield’s shoulder is healing well, and he is getting back in sync with his offense. It’s fair to say that big things are coming.
Patriots defense has improved since 2020, and they held the Panthers to just six points and under 250 yards total. Their secondary, however, has some weak spots and Mayfield can take advantage of that. Some are speculating that he might even have his first 300-yard, three-touchdown game of the season.
Browns Defense Could Be a Problem for Mac Jones
Justin Herbert aside, some of the Browns best defensive performances have been against first and second-year quarterbacks. Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney are relentless against younger quarterbacks, ensuring they never get comfortable in the pocket. Garrett’s best game of the season was against rookie Justin Fields when he collected 4.5 sacks. He is currently leading the NFL in sacks.
Joe Burrow didn’t stand a chance against the Cleveland defense, which is understandable as that was only his 19th professional game. Cornerback Denzel Ward leads the secondary, which after a foggy start, is playing the way they were meant to. After Ward had his first pick-six of the season and thwarted another pass that resulted in an interception, Cleveland looks like contenders.
Against the Bengals, the Browns had their best defensive game of 2021. They forced three turnovers and sacked Burrow five times while pushing down on rookie sensation Ja’Marr Chase. If they do what is expected, the Browns defense will likely make Mac Jones’ day very difficult.
Patriots Will Try and Stop Browns Run Game
The Browns run offense is the best in the league, and it’s keeping the team alive. New England’s defense is capable of being a real obstacle, especially when Bill Belichick has a knack for limiting an opponent’s biggest strength. If they plan to stop Nick Chubb, Mayfield will have no choice but to work on his air game.
The Browns and Patriots are looking to stay in the playoff run. Both teams are in similar positions, both have as many capabilities as the other. It’s anyone’s guess how this game will end.
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