What else did you expect? Tom Brady returned to the field against a win-less Cleveland Browns team. He came. He saw. He conquered. A 33-13 victory for the New England Patriots was the result witnessed at FirstEnergy Stadium by, what seemed like, a split sea of Pats and Browns fans. We had some questions answered in this game, and maybe some questions arose.
Brady looked to be his normal self, throwing for over 400 yards for the eighth time in his illustrious career. This puts him in a tie for the fourth most 400-yard performances in NFL history, behind Drew Brees, Dan Marino, and Peyton Manning. There seemed to be no rust in this game for Tom to knock off. He even connected with some of his new targets in Chris Hogan and Martellus Bennett. Usually it takes some time for the WRs to adjust, but they did so quickly. He shook off the doubters by completing two deep-balls to Hogan, something many thought he couldn’t due anymore.
I was impressed by how quickly the new weapons caught on with Brady. We have seen guys like Chad Ochocinco, Scott Chandler, and Kellen Winslow fail to get on the same page with the offense and timing with the QB. Bennett continued to be a piece, adding three more touchdowns to his year. He is on pace for his best statistical season of his career. Hogan added the ability to catch the long-ball that we have missed for some time. Both catches were impressive, and I hope to see more of that.
The offensive line didn’t look bad without Marcus Cannon this week. That may be because they are playing one of the worst defenses in the league, but being down to the third string tackle is still notable.
I guess that is the theme of the offense. “It is only the Browns”. You play who you have on the schedule, so I give them credit for performing well when they should have. Hopefully, with another week removed from their injuries, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski get closer to full speed.
The pass-rush looked adequate. Malcom Brown came up with two sacks, and Dont’a Hightower’s pressure up the middle on a free-rush forced Cody Kessler to make a mistake throwing the ball behind the RB and back into the end-zone, resulting in a safety. I was extremely impressed by rookie LB Elandon Roberts out of Houston. He made a lot of impressive tackles. I think he may have just moved himself up the depth chart ahead of Jonathan Freeny. He even tackled Isaiah Crowell by tackling an offensive lineman.
Cyrus Jones. Cyrus Jones. Cyrus Jones. Not a good start in New England buddy. Last week he was criticized for mistakes in special teams. This week he got burned SO BADLY (shout-out Andrew Hawkins “celebration”), and he got kicked out of the game for throwing a punch. I would be surprised if he played next week, but the second-round pick is not looking good so far.
Andrew Hawkins just out here not trynna get fines pic.twitter.com/3h6Or49Bqw
— Football Posts (@FballPosts) October 12, 2016
The Browns are not looking good. On the play that safety, Hightower hit Kessler and caused him to land on his shoulder. It looked like a sprained AC Joint, the same injury that caused Jimmy Garoppolo to miss time, however, it was revealed after the game that it was an injury to the ribs and chest.
Then, career back-up Charlie Whitehurst came in and got injured. The Browns had to turn to WR Terrelle Pryor to play QB. The team has already gone through four starting QBs (RG3, Josh McCown, Kessler, and Whitehurst), so they don’t have much else to turn to. Hopefully, these two injuries aren’t too serious, and they can play next week.
Not much they can do on defense. Just such a sad situation in Cleveland. There is not a lot of hope for them this season.
By the way… Gronk is back.
How would you name @RobGronkowski's tackle-breaking run?
— NFL (@NFL) October 10, 2016