It was just one game, but the Cleveland Browns could not get much going in Sunday’s road loss to the New England Patriots.
On the first drive, six of the first seven plays went for at least five yards.
D’Ernest Johnson exploded for 58 yards on the opening drive, and Austin Hooper caught a fourth-down touchdown.
After the tremendous opening drive to the game, it all went downhill for Cleveland.
Then, the Patriots scored 45 unanswered points, as the Browns were again unable to defeat Bill Belichick.
A 45-7 loss for the Browns is not what was expected today.
With four losses in the last six weeks, the Browns are not trending in the right direction.
Last week’s victory at Cincinnati was huge, but Cleveland falling back down to a .500 record is not what was desired this week.
It was a nightmare yet again in New England.
1. The Browns continued to struggle against the Patriots
Without Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, Jack Conklin, Demetric Felton, Greedy Williams, and others, the Browns had difficulty staying with the Patriots on offense and defense.
In addition, their long losing streak at New England (six games in a row heading into Sunday) unfortunately continued.
Last time the Browns beat the Patriots in NE Bill Belichick was their head coach (1992) pic.twitter.com/ITfitihZvI
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 12, 2021
Both Cleveland and New England headed into Sunday with 5-4 records.
It started off great for Baker Mayfield and company.
Then, the Browns did not score another point after the first five minutes of the game.
Also, Myles Garrett, who finished with just one tackle — which one of the Browns’ two sacks — was unhappy with defensive coordinator Joe Woods:
#Browns Myles Garrett:
"We have to go back to the drawing board, and see how we can get better. See how we can scheme better, see how we can make adjustments on the fly. We never had a chance just because we didn't make any adjustments on the sideline or when we had time to."
— Camryn Justice (@camijustice) November 14, 2021
This situation does not bode well for the Browns defensive unit, but Cleveland has to turn the page.
With the Week 10 loss, Cleveland is in last place in the AFC North.
Week 11 will be vital.
Next week’s contest against the winless Detroit Lions (0-8-1) may be the only “easy” game for the Browns for the rest of the season.
2. It was not Mayfield’s day
The Browns were hoping for their first victory against the Patriots since 2010.
Mayfield threw his ninth touchdown of the season, but he did not accumulate yardage.
Mayfield’s first half was not good.
Baker Mayfield's 36 pass yards are his fewest in a first half in his career 😳 pic.twitter.com/omFHNUq3hk
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) November 14, 2021
Mayfield’s day at Gillette Stadium did not end well, as he left the game early with a right knee injury.
With the early exit, Mayfield finished with his fewest passing yards in any game in his NFL career.
His previous low was Week 5 in 2019: 100 passing yards at San Francisco.
Fortunately, the x-ray on his knee came back clean, and he will most likely be back in action for next week when the Browns return home.
3. The AFC North continues to be a tight battle
Week 10 was not good for the AFC North.
The division went a combined 0-2-1 with the Bengals on bye.
At the beginning of the day, Cleveland had a chance at matching the Ravens for the most wins in the division at six.
Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Do not forget though that the Browns host the Lions at FirstEnergy Stadium next week.
The Lions helped Cleveland a bit by tying the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10.
Now, it will be helpful if the Browns are healthy and ready for a big home win in Week 11.
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