TIME: 1:00 PM EST
LOCATION: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Oh
BETTING LINE: NE -11
FINAL LINE SCORE
|Yard per Pass||9.6|
|Yards per Carry||2.8|
|Time of Possession||34:39|
TOP PASSER: Tom Brady– 28-40, 406 yards, 3 TD
TOP RUSHER: LeGarrette Blount– 18 rushes, 37 yards, TDTOP
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Malcom Brown– 4 total tackles, 3 solo, 2 sacks, 2 TFL
PLAYER OF THE GAME
The king is back and there is no rust to be seen. Tom Brady played like the GOAT he is and silenced any doubters. Everything Brady did, he did it well. Many believed that it would be difficult for the 39-year-old quarterback to fit back into the team after his suspension. Yet, old TB12 showed the doubters wrong and lit it up in his first game back. With only a week to prepare, Brady threw for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns. All three of these touchdowns were to Martellus Bennett, a new addition to the team this year. Not to mention, Brady ran the ball twice for 14 yards, including a conversion on 3rd and 5. The rest of the league needs to be prepared because Brady is back and ready to light the world on fire.
|Yard per Pass||11.75|
|Yards per Carry||1.2|
|Time of Possession||25:21|
TOP PASSER: Charlie Whitehurst- 14-24, 182 yards, TD
TOP RUSHER: Isaiah Crowell– 13 carries, 22 yards
TOP RECEIVER: Gary Barnidge– 5 receptions, 76 yards
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Christian Kirksey– 16 total tackles, 11 solo
PATRIOTS POSITION GROUP RATINGS
TIGHT ENDS: 10/10. Bennett and Gronk have successfully revived the two tight end set. Although it might be too early to say after just one game. Regardless both players lit up the defense and created matchup problems. On one play the defense double-covered Gronk in the end zone. So instead Brady just tossed it over to a wide-open Bennett who just walked it in. If today is any indication of what is to come, defensive coordinators should be scared.
QUARTERBACKS: 10/10. 406 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Brady is back with a chip on his shoulder. Last year we all learned that angry Brady is a force to be reckoned with. And now Touchdown Tom is back to show the league that you won’t like him when he’s angry.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 9/10. Although the tight ends did most of the work, there is one receiver who stands out. Chris Hogan joined the Patriots in the offseason as a free agent. Previously, Hogan was on the Dolphins, then the Bills. The former Bills receiver pulled in 4 receptions for 114 yards, and maybe the deep threat the Patriots have been missing.
The Browns’ streak of bad luck continued against the Patriots. Rookie quarterback, Cody Kessler, started the game for the Browns. However, he could not finish it. Kessler left the game with an injury after nearly taking a sack from Dont’a Hightower. Despite Kessler’s efforts to get rid of the ball, the play ended up as a safety. The Browns quarterback curse became even worse as backup Charlie Whitehurst eventually left the game with an injury as well. Due to these injuries, Terrelle Pryor was often under center.
While everything seemed to be going wrong for the Browns, everything was going right for the Patriots. The Patriots were in sync and playing with tremendous skill on both sides of the ball (although the Patriots lifted their foot off the gas near the end) especially their defense. Because of this the Browns eventually managed to put an extra 6 points on the board. However, offensively the Patriots did everything right. Gronk returned after looking like a shell of himself the past few weeks. While many thought the return of Gronk would hurt Bennett’s play, it instead helped it. Gronk would draw double coverage and Bennett was left wide open.
While the Patriots offense was mostly moving great, the running backs had some trouble. Although the Blount did score a touchdown, he could have had another. But who needs to run the ball when you have Tom Brady under center.
CLEVELAND BROWNS POSITION GROUP RATINGS
RUNNING BACKS: 5/10. Isaiah Crowell has had a good season so far proving that he has the ability to put up good rushing numbers and the capability to be an efficient NFL rusher. However, today was not his day. The Patriots’ defense effectively shut him down holding him to just 22 yards on 13 attempts. Additionally, Duke Johnson ran 4 times and only gained 1 yard.
QUARTERBACKS: 5/10. Cody Kessler did decent in the first quarter completing 5 of 8 passes and throwing for 62 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately, for the Browns, Kessler left the game in the first quarter with a back injury. That left the game up to the Browns FOURTH string QB (fifth if you include Terrelle Pryor) Charlie Whitehurst. He played alright for his first start in awhile throwing for a touchdown. But other than his scoring drive, he couldn’t put any meaningful drives together and also threw an interception.
LINEBACKERS: 6/10. The Browns’ linebackers did pretty well. Behind the combined 26 tackles of Christian Kirksey and Demario Davis, the Browns’ defense effectively shut down the Pats’ rushing game allowing just 98 yards and 1 rushing TD. However, Brady shredded their defense through the air throwing for over 400 yards and 3 touchdowns. A large portion of this passing attack involved the Pats’ tight ends which heavily reflects poor pass coverage on the part of the Browns’ linebackers.
*Jacob Gurney collaborated on this article.