The Cleveland Browns (5-4) and New England Patriots (5-4) face off this Sunday after both teams had early-season adversity.
The Patriots have bounced back after starting the season 1-3 and are on a 3 game winning streak.
Which team will move to 6-4?
Let’s take a look at our writer’s bold predictions for this Sunday’s matchup.
Writer: Wendi Oliveros
Week 10 brings us the Bill Belichick Bowl as his current team, the Patriots, face his former team, the Browns.
Belichick is going to have plenty of tricks up his sleeve and fewer Browns superstars to stress over.
Nick Chubb is out which is a painful loss for the Browns as he had arguably his best game of the season last week against Cincinnati.
D’Ernest Johnson is going to be the man again.
He has to carry this team on his back just like he did against Denver in Week 7.
In the end, the Browns will prevail by winning the game at the line of scrimmage.
My Prediction: Browns 24, Patriots 21
Writer: Ben Donahue
Just when the Browns overcame a tumultuous week to defeat the Bengals last Sunday, they faced another test this week.
This time, it wasn’t discord in the locker room, but Covid.
The Covid reserve list filled up quickly at the beginning of the week and has led to players such as Nick Chubb being unable to play on Sunday.
In fact, the running back room in general has been especially hard hit.
As of now, D’Ernest Johnson will get the bulk of the reps Sunday.
Browns RBs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton are out Sunday with COVID, per @RapSheet
D’Ernest Johnson will be getting the start pic.twitter.com/NzqWGZc5Hn
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) November 12, 2021
Meanwhile, the Patriots currently sit at 5-4, but they lost two games by less than three points and a third game went into overtime.
New England boats a fourth ranked defense while Cleveland sits in the 12th spot.
On offense, Pats rookie quarterback Mac Jones has tossed 10 touchdowns, but has thrown seven picks.
Baker Mayfield has thrown eight touchdown passes against three interceptions.
With limited running back help, that means both teams will need to rely heavily on their quarterbacks, receivers and defense to save the day.
Bill Belichick always schemes well for opponents.
However, I think the Browns will bring just enough to win.
My Prediction: Browns 28, Patriots 24
Writer: Pat Opperman
Do you believe there are Browns fans who seem genuinely concerned about this week’s opponent?
Sure, the New England Patriots ride a 3-game win streak and bring one of the top defenses.
But their 3 latest victories came against the woeful Jets, the hot and cold Chargers, and the quarterback-less Panthers.
And then there is this: the Cleveland Browns are a better football team.
Rookie Mac Jones shares an important trait with former Patriots QB, Tom Brady.
If you hit him early and often, he folds like a tent.
And with Myles Garrett lining up opposite Isaiah Wynn, Jones will be hit early and often.
Kevin Stefanski can stick with last week’s game plan regardless of who is at running back, and put this one in the bag.
My Prediction: Browns 30, Patriots 13
Writer: Mark Bergin
This Week 10 game will come down to whether the Patriots can slow down the Browns’ running game.
The Patriots did a nice job slowing down Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey in Week 9, limiting him to 52 rushing yards and 3.7 yards per carry.
The Browns enter Sunday’s game ranked second in the NFL in average rushing yards per game (160.2).
However, running backs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton will not play due to positive COVID-19 tests.
The Patriots defense is tied for ninth in the NFL allowing 4.1 yards per carry and ranks 15th in 108.9 rushing yards per game.
D’Ernest Johnson has done a nice job when he’s gotten his limited opportunities, but there are only a few NFL running backs better than Chubb.
If the onus falls on beat-up Baker Mayfield, I don’t trust his ability to carry the Browns’ offense.
My Prediction: Patriots 24, Browns 16
Writer: Rocco Nuosci
Tom Brady may not play in New England anymore, but the Patriots are still nothing to scoff at.
Head Coach Bill Belichick has them at 5-4 and riding a three-game win streak.
What’s been interesting is their struggles at Gillette Stadium compared to on the road.
New England has just one win at home, a 54-13 thrashing of the Jets back in October.
Rookie quarterback Mac Jones is ninth in the league with a 68% completion rate and has thrown ten touchdowns to go with seven interceptions.
He’s capable of turning the ball over, something the Browns made Joe Burrow do plenty of last Sunday.
However, New England’s o-line has been good of late and returns Trent Brown this week.
As long as the defense keeps Jones uncomfortable, Cleveland will be in good shape.
My Prediction: Browns 27, Patriots 20