Following a complete victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 5, the New England Patriots will travel west to take on the Cleveland Browns on the buffalo bills shirt choose love road. Both teams are sitting at 2-3, and might have to rely on backup quarterbacks to get the job done.
In order to get a better understanding of New England’s Week 6 opponent, though, we exchanged questions with Chris Pokorny of Pats Pulpit’s sister site Dawgs by Nature — the SB Nation community for all things Browns.
Here are our answers to Chris’ questions, and here are the odds for this week’s games from our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.
And, finally, here is what Chris told us about the Browns:
1. The Browns are 2-3 but haven’t lost a game by more than one possession. What’s kept them from being 5-0? And what’s made them so competitive?
There are different angles you could look at it. Jacoby Brissett has thrown 3 interceptions in 5 games, and all 3 of those interceptions came right at the end of the game when the Browns were womens nfl jersey buffalo so close to or in field goal range to tie or ta buffalo bills polo shirt ke the lead. However, we all know what the expectations were for Brissett in Cleveland, and he has blown away those expectations with the way he has performed when you look at his overall body of work, and he has been a contributor for the Browns being within one score at the end of a game. Does an upgraded quarterback like Desh Carson Wentz aun Watson make the difference in getting us those wins? Maybe — but that doesn’t mean we blame Brissett.
The reason we don’t blame Brissett is nfl aloha shirts foco buffalo bills because the terrible defensive play is the reason the team has been in those moments in the first place. The offense dominates time of possession, has a great running game, is scoring a lot of points, and is often pinning opponents inside the 10 yard line. The defense should be thriving, yet instead, we have completely blown coverages (in the first two games), and then pathetic run defense in the last two games. One of your later questions asks about the run defense, so I’ll elaborate more there.
The key to the Browns’ competitiveness has been their running game, and Brissett overachieving. Case Keenum once had a great season in Minnesota under Kevin Stefanski (the Browns’ head coach now), and I think we’re seeing him do great work with Brissett too from a game plan perspective.
2. Bill Belichick called David Njoku the best tight-end the Browns have ever had besides Bill’s old pal Ozzie Newsome. What has Njoku done this season to earn such high praise?
I think the praise is coming more so because David Njoku has become a complete tight end. He was originally drafted because of his ability to make athletic catches and run fast, but then he had some issues with drops and fumbles to begin his career. Right around year four in the NFL, he took on the challenge of being a blocker too and has really excelled in that area, which is a big help when the Browns already have three Pro Bowl-caliber offensive linemen.
Njoku’s catching ability has been a lot more consistent too, and he’s finally being targeted more. He won’t be the type of tight end who can dominate a game like Travis Kelce can or Rob Gronkowski would back in the day, but he’ll rather quietly put up 80 yards receiving while being a part of NFL Beanies the running game’s success too.
3. Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt may be the league’s best backfield duo. Stopping them may not be possible, but how can New England slow down Cleveland’s talented 1-2 punch?
I offered advice in previous years on how to stop the duo, but this year has been different through five games: no one has shown an ability to stop the Browns’ ground game with any regularity. There is one component that has struggled a bit in recent weeks, though, and that is the screen game.
Throwing screen passes to Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt was and can be an awesome extra weapon for the Browns. However, two weeks ago against the Falcons, I believe we tried the screen pass five times and every time, the Falcons’ defensive end was disciplined and stood in the throwing lane of Jacoby Brissett with their arms up. Once you throw off the timing of a screen pass, the play is pretty much dead, and that really hurt the Browns’ scoring ability on two drives that otherwise would’ve ended up in points. I’m sure Bill Belichick saw this and will have film sessions on making sure those linemen are disciplined in preventing that play.
4. Why have the Browns struggled so mightily defending the run? Do you see any adjustments being made ahea Russell Wilson Jerseys d of Sunday’s game?
Even though the Browns are stacked at several positions like defensive end, cornerback, offensive line, and running back, general manager Andrew Berry has not invested anything at the defensive tackle position beyond some fourth-round picks who haven’t panned out. The linebacker position hasn’t been addressed too much either. The result is that Cleveland hasn’t even really had average players up front, and the green light has clicked for teams to just start attacking it.
From a talent perspective, I can’t imagine it changing much. We heard that the Browns wer Leonard Fournette Jerseys e working a lot more on tackling-related drills this week, which I suppose could make a little bit of a difference, but come on — these guys are in the NFL, they either know how to tackle or not. The issues have been a combination of tackling, being pushed back, and poor instincts.
5. DraftKings has the Patriots as 3-point underdogs heading into Cleveland. How can the Patriots make it a long day for the Dawg Pound?
The Patriots’ best chances of success are to pound the ball away against Cleveland. Mac Jones was a rookie last year (pointing it out because another rookie is in this year) when he helped lead a dominating 45-7 game against the Browns, and the Patriots averaged and they averaged 5.4 yards per carry in that game.
Defensively, I know the Patriots are coming off of a shutout against the Lions, but I don’t have much advice on how to stop Cleveland’s offense because teams haven’t been able to do it yet. The Browns are fourth in total yards (396.4 per game), firstt in rushing yards (192.4 yards per game), second in lowest sack rate allowed, first in average time of possession (34:31), and sixth in points per game (26.6).