Browns take a step back, get blown out by Patriots 45-7
Bad news came early for the Browns this week, as starting running back's Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton were put on the COVID-19 list, forcing them out for the week.
The bad news continued Sunday. The first half was abysmal for the Browns, as they gave up more than 250 yards, while mustering less than 100 on offense.
The second half remained the same story, ugly.
The final score was New England 45, Browns 7.
As the Patriots deferred to the second half, Mayfield and the Browns began the game on offense.
Despite missing their top three running backs, D'Ernest Johnson drove the Browns down the field off 58 yards rushing. To cap off the drive, Mayfield threw a dart to Austin Hooper for a touchdown. An extra point gave the Browns the early lead, 7-0.
As the Browns drove the field methodically, the Patriots did just the same. With their running back depth low as well, they were still able to pick apart Cleveland's defense in just under 10 minuets. Mirroring Mayfield, Mac Jones hit his tight end for a touchdown — the game was tied at seven after an extra point.
On their next drive, the Browns turned the ball over after Mayfield threw his fourth interception of the season. On the very next play, Rhamondre Stevenson rushed in a five-yard touchdown. After an extra point, the Patriots were up to a quick 14-7 lead.
The Browns could not score on their next drive, and had to punt back to the Patriots. Despite starting on their own one yard line, Jones was able to continually pick apart the Cleveland's defense and toss another
23-yard touchdown. Without much trouble at all, the Patriots were up 21-7.
The Browns offense was uninspired the rest of the half, as was the defense, which allowed the Patriots to do whatever they wanted because of their lack of tenacity.
They gave up just three points on their next drive, making it 24-7 at halftime.
After two punts to start the second half by both teams, the Patriots got the ball back and drove the length of the field easily yet again. Stevenson rushed in another touchdown, bringing the Patriots lead to 31-7.
The next drive, Mayfield dropped back and was hit continually. He limped off the field to the sideline — ending his afternoon.
The Patriots scored again off another Jones touchdown pass to Hunter Henry. An extra point made it 38-7, giving New England 38 unanswered points.
That lead was stretched even further after Jakobi Meyers caught a touchdown from backup QB Brian Hoyer -- 45-7 Patriots.
Next week, the Browns (5-5) return home against the Detroit Lions (0-8-1) — an important game if they want to get back on track.