New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
Date and Time: Sunday, October 9, 2016, 1 p.m. ET
Location: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH
Week 5 NFL Odds at BookMaker.eu: Patriots -10, 47
Broncos vs. Buccaneers TV Coverage: CBS
Through the first three weeks of the season, many wondered if the Pats could lose if they decided not to even line a quarterback up under center and go at opposing defenses with only 10. After taking down the Cardinals in the desert, the Dolphins back at home with Jimmy Garoppolo going down, and then manhandling Houston with third stringer Jacoby Brissett, you had to think Bill Belichick was laughing at all of us.
Then Week 4 came along and New England got shut out at home by the Buffalo Bills. The 13-0 defeat marked the first time the Patriots had been shutout at home since 1993, and the first time the team went scoreless since 2006. It was an ugly overall effort for the Hoody who saw his offense tally just 13 first downs and convert one of its 12 third-down tries. The nine penalties didn’t help either. That said, Tom Brady will be back to help normalize the offense.
Say what you will about the Cleveland Browns, but there’s no denying there’s much more fight in the 2016-17 version. Hugh Jackson has instilled a confidence the franchise hasn’t seen in quite some time, and though the squad remains winless through the first four weeks of the season, it’s had opportunities to win games but couldn’t see it all the way through.
Three of the team’s first four games have been played away from FirstEnergy Stadium. The lone game played there, they had the Baltimore Ravens on the ropes bur failed to administer the knockout blow. While the defense is still a sieve with it giving up 28.8 points per game and ranking out in the bottom third in defensive yard per point average (14.4), the offense has immediately shown growth with Isaiah Crowell the bell cow for the league’s top ranked rushing attack.
Player to Watch
Seriously, is there anyone else we should be watching other than Mr. Brady himself? The future Hall of Famer can finally turn the page on Deflategate, and after hanging with the misses out in France the first month of the season, he should be refreshed and ready to go for his 2016 debut.
Cleveland has been a bit better defending the pass (No. 16) than the rush (No. 24), but it just faced its toughest passing offense last week and gave up 183 yards and three passing touchdowns to Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. Fantasy players have been waiting for this game since snagging Brady late in their drafts. He’s not about to disappoint.
Patriots vs. Browns Free Picks
Against the league’s No. 1 defensive YPP unit, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Browns produced a grand total of 10 points. That was with RG III at the helm. Against Baltimore, the twelfth ranked unit, they put 20 on the board with Josh McCown running the show. Cody Kessler has run up against Miami (No. 10) and Washington (No. 24), so he’s in for a rude awakening in this one facing the Pats No. 2 ranked unit.
The Pats have given up their fair share of yardage between the 20s, but have only given up an average of 15.2 points per game; the fourth fewest in the league. Cleveland ranks No. 27 in red zone scoring offense and constantly hurts itself with penalties (No. 27). There will be a time this season when the Browns will spring an outright upset on the NFL odds at BookMaker.eu, but this matchup against the Pats won’t be one of them.
Patriots vs. Browns ATS Pick: Patriots -10 at BookMaker.eu
Patriots vs. Browns Score Prediction: Patriots 38 – Browns 10