Patriots Throttle Browns 45-7, Win Fourth Straight Game

The New England Patriots won their fourth straight game of the season Sunday afternoon with a 45-7 thumping of the Cleveland Browns in Foxborough. The Patriots improved their record to 6-4 on the season and scored 45 unanswered points after allowing the Browns to drive 84 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game.

The Patriots answered with a 15 play, 83-yard touchdown drive to snatch momentum right back from Cleveland. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was three-for-three on third down on that drive, including a key 20-yard screen pass to Brandon Bolden on third-and-13 to give the Patriots a first and goal opportunity on the three-yard line. Jones capped the drive off with a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry, who has quickly become Jones’s favorite red zone target with seven touchdowns this season, including two on Sunday.

Patriots safety Kyle Dugger took advantage of a poor decision by Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield on the next drive, picking off the fourth-year quarterback and returning it 37-yards to give the Patriots possession on the Brown’s five-yard line. Rookie running back Rhamondre Stevenson quickly punched it in on a five-yard run to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead.

The Patriots forced a Cleveland punt on the ensuing drive. Cleveland got a friendly roll on the 58-yard punt and after a holding penalty committed by Patriots defensive back Joejuan Williams was enforced, Jones and the Patriots were forced to begin their drive from their own one-yard line.

That didn’t faze New England’s rookie signal caller, who led the Patriots 99-yards down the field on an 11-play drive. Jones found receiver Kendrick Bourne on a 23-yard connection where Jones fit a beautifully thrown ball through two Browns’ defenders as Bourne streaked down the middle of the field, giving New England a 21-7 lead.

Mayfield continued to struggle, and after the Patriots added a field goal later on in the second quarter, the Browns found themselves down 24-7 after taking the initial 7-0 lead.

The Patriots received the opening kick of the second half but were forced to punt. After the Browns’ first drive of the third quarter stalled, they punted it back to New England. The Patriots began this drive from their own eight-yard line but drove down the field on eight plays to take a 31-7 lead on Stevenson’s second touchdown of the game, a two-yard touchdown run.

The story of the game was New England’s efficiency on third down. The Patriots converted on seven of nine third down situations while the Browns struggled all game long with just one conversion on 11 attempts. The Patriots had 452 yards of total offense on the day to Cleveland’s 217.

Jones found Henry for their second touchdown connection of the day with 13:33 remaining in the fourth quarter, and the icing was put on top of the win late in the game with Brian Hoyer in at quarterback for New England. Hoyer led the Patriots on a six-play, 95-yard touchdown drive that ended with wide receiver Jakobi Meyers’ first career touchdown catch, an 11-yard catch and run off a screen, to give New England the 45-7 victory.

Jones finished the day completing 19 of 23 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns. Stevenson picked up his first career 100-yard rushing game with 100 yards on 20 carries for two touchdowns.

Bourne continues to emerge as a key piece of the Patriots’ passing attack. He finished the day with four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. Bourne now has 33 catches for 520 yards and three touchdowns through ten games. With his role continuing to expand, Bourne has an outside shot of becoming the first Patriot wide receiver to compile a 1000-yard season since Julian Edelman’s 1,117 reception yards in 2019. Bourne also had three carries for 43 yards, with the reverse plays adding a new, successful wrinkle to New England’s offense.

The Patriots are on a short week and will be back in action on Thursday when they travel to Atlanta to take on the 4-5 Falcons, who just lost to the Dallas Cowboys 43-3 on Sunday.

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