The Cleveland Browns take a trip to Foxborough this Sunday to take on Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
These aren’t the Patriots of old, as Tom Brady now slings the pigskin down south in Tampa Bay.
Still, the 2021 Patriots sit at 5-4 under rookie quarterback Mac Jones.
They’ve been hot and cold this season, a common theme across the five-win teams in the AFC.
Even though Brady is gone, they still have guys who can hurt you.
This is the NFL after all.
Let’s take a look at 3 Patriot players the Browns should be keyed in on heading into Week Ten.
1. J.C. Jackson, Defensive Back
Although the Patriots offense is a shell of its former self, the defense still boasts an excellent unit.
A lot of their success on that side of the ball starts with their secondary.
One of the guys in that group, J.C. Jackson, has been electric so far this season.
Jackson has five interceptions already, including a pick-six this past Sunday in a win over Carolina.
— Binge Sports (@BingeSports) November 7, 2021
Jackson would intercept Sam Darnold not once, but twice on Sunday.
— Casey Baker – New Account (@_CaseyBaker) November 7, 2021
He is not someone Baker Mayfield can make lazy throws toward.
When quarterbacks do that, it often leads to a turnover.
That’s a battle Cleveland dominated against Cincinnati.
Winning the turnover game will be crucial again this week for the Browns.
J.C. Jackson is capable of ruining that.
2. Hunter Henry, Tight End
As mentioned, this Patriots offense is nowhere near as dynamic as it was with Brady under center.
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones has been average this season.
His completion numbers have taken a dip in the past couple of weeks as opposing defenses have made life tough for him.
Someone instrumental in helping Jones get comfortable this season has been his tight end Hunter Henry.
Henry leads the team with five receiving touchdowns and continues to be a red-zone threat.
This touchdown catch from last Sunday shows his ability to make tough catches in traffic.
Mac connects with Hunter Henry to extend the New England lead!
— EDFSPORTS FOOTBALL🏈 (@edfsnfl) November 7, 2021
Cleveland’s linebackers must keep tabs on Henry this Sunday.
Jones knows about Cleveland’s pass rush and will be looking to get the ball out of his hands quickly.
His go-to safety valve will be Henry, and the Browns have to account for that.
3. Damien Harris, Running Back
The speedy tailback Damien Harris is New England’s leading touchdown scorer through the first half of the season.
He’s the team’s leading rusher but not targeted in the passing game as often as New England’s other backs.
However, his versatility gives him the ability to use his hands out of the backfield when needed.
Harris has scored a touchdown in five straight games and is a huge reason the Patriots have been winners in four of their last five.
Since Week 5, Damien Harris is PFF's highest graded Running Back (91.2) 👑 pic.twitter.com/oDzY7oTRRs
— PFF NE Patriots (@PFF_Patriots) November 4, 2021
Harris did get banged up in the win over Carolina and did not practice with New England on Wednesday.
It’s still not clear whether he will be available for the Patriots on Sunday or not.
If he is able to go, the Browns defense has to find a way to limit his production.
He, along with Henry, are two red zone threats for Joe Woods to contend with.