Brady expressing his thoughts on the chances of a sixth consecutive win in Cleveland
For now, fortunes are high, but after Cleveland, follows a tough four-game stretch: a Sunday night visit to Pittsburgh, a home date with Peyton, a Thanksgiving Day treat in the Motor City, and a Monday night showdown with the team that handed them their only loss on the season
Produced by Patriots Gab columnist Chris Willson:
The Pats will be reunited with their old coach Eric Mangini when they travel to Cleveland this Sunday for what seems to be a very physical game. 7 of the 8 featured ESPN experts pick the Pats to win this week, and I can’t argue with that.
Starting out with the offense, the biggest headline coming into the game is guard Logan Mankins. Mankins, who has been holding out all year, reported to Foxboro this Tuesday and will dress for this week’s game. He isn’t expected to start, but Bill Belichick has hinted that Mankins may sub in at some point.
Benjarvus Green-Ellis will likely see a lot of carries this week after last week’s strong performance. The Browns rank 19th against the rush this year. Woodhead will also see his usual 5-10 carries, and some may be direct snaps as the team had success with those last week.
Brady looks to have another efficient game as well, as he is hoping to continue his interception-free streak to 3 games. The Browns rank 26th in the league against the pass, so the Pats most likely won’t be afraid to move the ball through the air. Deion Branch has been limited in practice this week with a hamstring injury, and will likely be a game time decision. If he is ruled out, look for Brandon Tate to have another elevated role.
Running back Peyton Hillis and the run-heavy Browns offense will be looking make it 2 straight wins this Sunday. The team announced that Colt McCoy, rookie from Texas, will be making the start this week. Fun fact: In the Browns last 7 wins, they have only passed for an average of 97.1 yards a game. They will certainly be looking to take pressure off McCoy by handing the rock to Hillis.
If Jerod Mayo and Brandon Spikes can continue their outstanding play against the run, I expect the game to be somewhat of a blowout. It’s clear that the Browns best strength is their running game, so if the Pats can put a stop to this early, McCoy will have to start throwing the ball. Although our secondary is young, I still think we clearly outmatch the Browns passing game.
Expect a lot of trick plays and unique special teams plays from the Browns. They know they are outmatched and will have to resort to something that could potentially be a game changer. The pats will always have to be on their toes and stay committed to their assignments.
A trio of finishing notes to monitor leading up to the game.
- Patrick Chung didn’t play last week with a knee injury, but he has practiced sparingly this week and will be a game time decision.
- Sammy Morris played on all 4 special teams units last week, and was awarded a game ball. It’s good to see someone playing so hard that has basically lost their role in the offense
- The Pats will be wearing throwback jerseys in this game.