NFL Week 10 Game Recap: New England Patriots 45, Cleveland Browns 7 | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

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NFL Week 10 Game Recap: New England Patriots 45, Cleveland Browns 7

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) directs the offense during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL on CBS production team decided that the people of Ohio and Massachusetts had better ways to spend their time, because the broadcast was changed prior to the end of the third quarter. New England crushed Cleveland in Foxborough, 45-7, and stepped forward into potential contention in the AFC.

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New England Patriots 

Quarterbacks

Who knows how the rest of their careers will pan out — and it hasn’t been the highest bar to clear — but Mac Jones has clearly been the best prepared rookie quarterback from the 2021 class. As this game went on, you could see his confidence build, and he delivered what may be his best throw of the season to Kendrick Bourne between two defenders for a TD.

Mac Jones | Week 10
Dropbacks 25
First Downs Passing 14
Yards Per Attempt 8.6
Passer Rating 142.1
Running Back

The preferred identity of Bill Belichick’s Patriots seems to be back in order: physicality that begins with the running game. Rhamondre Stevenson was the bell cow for the bruising two-back and two-tight-end offense of New England, averaging 5.0 yards per carry and gaining over 60% of his yards after contact.

Wide Receivers

There were talks over the last week about New England trying to get in on the OBJ sweepstakes. While they whiffed, it certainly didn’t bite them against Cleveland. Kendrick Bourne led the way with just under 100 yards receiving, and Hunter Henry converted all four of his catches into first downs.

Offensive Line

One of the best effects of a successful downhill running game is that it slows down players on the edge, which helps a great deal in trying to keep the rookie quarterback clean. Isaiah Wynn allowed a sack and a couple of pressures, but the team’s execution went a long way in denying Cleveland’s rushers to tear up the field.

Defensive Line

Matthew Judon only had one registered pressure (and a share of a sack), but his presence alone opened up opportunities on the interior for secondary rusher Deatrich Wise, who finished the game with seven pressures. If Chase Winovich returns to health in the near future, the team will have a scary complement of pass rushers.

Player Pressures Win Rate
Matthew Judon 2 9%
Deatrich Wise 7 28%
Donta Hightower 3 50%
Linebackers

The Browns moved the ball pretty well on the ground, but there were repeated snaps of Dont'a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley going 100 miles per hour into the chests of pullers to take away running lanes, an impressive feat of strength and determination.

Secondary

Kyle Dugger got underneath a poor pass from Baker Mayfield against a Cover-2 “trap” look. When Mayfield realized what the coverage was, it was too late to do much other than try to put the ball inside and away from the CB, which led it to being undercut for the INT.

Cleveland Browns

Quarterbacks

Mayfield is capable of operating this offense well when all the pieces are clicking, but it’s clear that the engine of this attack is Nick Chubb, and he was sorely missed by his quarterback. Mayfield couldn’t find anything down the field, and the longer he looked, the more the pass rush collapsed the pocket. Mayfield left the game after taking a hard hit from Judon to the midsection on a third-quarter dropback.

Running Back

No Nick Chubb is no good for this run game, especially against a defense as stifling as this one between the tackles. D’Ernest Johnson has been a major find for Cleveland, and he turned in over 5.0 yards per carry, which is nothing to sneeze at. However, the threat of the explosive run wasn’t the same, and he couldn’t find enough offense to open the field for his QB.

Wide Receiver

It’s hard for any receiving corps to find consistent separation against New England’s DBs, let alone a team without a true No. 1 receiver. Trying to split David Njoku out into the slot or wide didn’t create the matchup issues desired, and Jarvis Landry gained 20 of his 26 yards after the catch. The leader in receiving yards didn’t play WR or TE for the Browns today.

Player Targets Yards Per Route Run Average Depth of Target
Jarvis Landry 4 0.79 1.5
David Njoku 4 0.46 11.0
Donovan Peoples-Jones 5 0.48 14.2
Offensive Line

One of the most difficult things about dealing with the Patriots is the way their coverage affects how you protect the QB. It’s difficult to time up passing concepts with the protection scheme, because clean pockets get crushed, and Bill Belichick loves to cover up every lineman and guarantee a one-on-one with his best rusher and your worst blocker.

Defensive Line

Myles Garrett converted one of his two pressures on the day into a sack and played well overall, but there weren’t nearly enough opportunities within the flow of the game for a player of his magnitude to affect the outcome. Malik McDowell chipped in a sack as well, but no Browns players logged more than two pressures on the day.

Linebackers

How Cleveland played on the second level was going to determine the outcome of the game defensively, and they didn’t receive nearly enough from the LB corps to keep the Patriots offense under control. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah couldn’t affect the game being played in a phone booth — same for Anthony Walker.

Secondary

Troy Hill was the victim in coverage for Mac Jones and the WR corps in New England, allowing a perfect 158.3 passer rating in coverage. Hill allowed all of  his coverage targets to be receptions, each converting a first down with two going for 15 or more yards.

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