The (2-3) Cleveland Browns matchup with the (2-3) New England Patriots in week 6 of the NFL season.
The Browns enter this matchup coming off a disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers 30-28.
Who will prevail?
Let’s take a look at our writer’s bold predictions for this Sunday’s matchup.
Writer: Wendi Oliveros
I was so sure that the Browns would win in Week 5 against the Los Angeles Chargers that I am now legitimately uncertain of who to pick in Week 6.
There are several reasons for this.
The biggest one is Bill Belichick.
He is the G.O.A.T. and beating his former team, the team that fired him decades ago is likely still a big motivator for him.
The other is the injuries to a disappointing defense; the Browns will not have Jadeveon Clowney or Denzel Ward.
Bill was probably in his office plotting major plays after hearing the news about Clowney and Ward.
Then there is that whole Patriots quarterback situation; the Browns still don’t know who the Patriots’ quarterback will be on Sunday afternoon.
Is it Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe?
The ever-evasive Belichick is not tipping his hand on this one though the Browns could potentially figure it out if Jones does not travel with the team to Cleveland.
Regardless, it is a week of uncertainties and unanswered questions which I believe will prove problematic for the Browns who have been prone to execution difficulties on the fundamentals of football even when the starters are all healthy.
That’s why I, unfortunately, have to pick the Patriots to beat the Browns at home by the score of 24-20.
P.S. I hope to be wrong because a three-game losing streak could be disastrous for this 2022 Browns team.
My Prediction: Patriots 24, Browns 20
Writer: Ben Donahue
The New England Patriots travel to Cleveland on Sunday sporting a 2-3 record.
The Browns also have a 2-3 record and are favored in the contest.
Even with identical records, these don’t look like identical teams.
Coming off a last-minute loss to LA last week, the Browns let another win slip through their fingers.
The team has proven they can hang with their opponents, but not finish games.
New England may have a losing record, but counting out Bill Belichick is never wise.
After starting the season 1-2, the Pats took Green Bay to overtime before losing and blanked Detroit last week.
It’s hard to fathom, but the Lions had the league’s number-one scoring offense before playing New England.
Now, that same Patriot defense faces Cleveland’s fourth-ranked offense in yards per game and that is also sixth in points per game.
Last weekend, Matthew Judon had two sacks on Jared Goff, which put him at six for the year and tied him for the league lead with Micah Parsons and Nick Bosa.
Jonathan and Jack Jones are two solid corners and will give Jacoby Brissett and his receivers fits.
Against the Chargers, Nick Chubb averaged almost eight yards per rush.
The Pats had given up 4.8 yards per carry until facing Detroit when they held the Lions to 3.7 yards per tote.
Speaking of a running attack, Rhamondre Stevenson gashed the Lions for 161 yards and is averaging 5.5 yards a carry this year.
That doesn’t bode well for a Cleveland run defense that is leaking like a sieve.
It says something about Belichick’s work with quarterbacks that Bailey Zappe has performed well with Mac Jones injured.
Whether Jones returns Sunday or not doesn’t seem to matter.
Belichick will prepare his usual situational football and scheme accordingly.
If he wins this week, he will tie George Halas for the second-most wins in NFL history.
I think he gets it.
My Prediction: Patriots 28, Browns 24
Writer: Pat Opperman
For the season, I predicted the Browns would finish only 9-8.
And yet, I’ve predicted victory each week so far through 5 games.
That trend continues into Week 6, even though I pegged this game as a loss in my season preview.
New England rolls into town off an impressive 29-0 shutout victory.
But their victory is tainted by the thought they simply exposed the Detroit Lions for who they really are.
And taking the Packers to overtime the week before was diminished by the under-manned Giants’ Week 5 win over the Pack.
The only team New England managed to beat besides Detroit is Pittsburgh, 29-17 losers to the Browns in Week 3.
Bill Belichick will go after the rookie corner this week, and Martin Emerson will hold up fine.
He’ll try to slow down Nick Chubb, but find he can barely contain him.
David Njoku and Amari Cooper will draw extra attention, so Jacoby Brissett with feed Harrison Bryant and DPJ.
I would be more confident if I thought Kevin Stefanski and Joe Woods might stop thinking so much and let their players play.
But dropping 2 winnable games is enough of a wake-up call to lift the Browns back to .500
My Prediction: Browns 26, Patriots 20
Writer: Rocco Nuosci
It’s hard to call a Week Six game a “must-win”.
However, the Cleveland Browns enter Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots at 2-3.
The next five games are against Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Buffalo, and Tampa Bay. This just feels like one they must have.
Patriots quarterback Mac Jones is questionable for Sunday as he continues to battle a high ankle sprain. If he still can’t go, it’ll be Bailey Zappe under center.
Who is that you ask?
I’m not entirely sure.
I know he went to Western Kentucky.
And I know the Browns defense should be able to beat him.
However, Denzel Ward and Jadeveon Clowney are out which makes the job a bit tougher.
Offensively the Browns seemingly have their work cut out for them.
New England blanked the league’s top offense in Detroit last week
. A heavy dose of Nick Chubb will be needed along with limited mistakes from Jacoby Brissett.
With Cleveland at home, I like them this week.
My Prediction: Browns 23, Patriots 19
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