Even in what many predicted as a down year, New England is playing well heading into the week 10 Browns at Patriots matchup. The Patriots (5-4) are just a game down from Buffalo (5-3) in the loss column and still have two huge meetings with the Bills left on the calendar. New England is back home after securing road wins at the Chargers (27-24) and Panthers (24-6).
Cleveland is up to the task of the visit to Foxborough though coming off their most complete game of the season in a 41-16 win in Cincinnati. Even though the Patriots just won consecutive road games, that’s still hard to do in the NFL and it’s the task the Browns are facing on Sunday. New England is a -2.5 favorite, and a slight 55% of the betting public likes Cleveland getting the points.
Mayfield Looks Relaxed
Last week was the first game that Cleveland played after ‘officially’ moving on from the Odell Beckham, Jr. experiment. The permanently disgruntled WR is a constant distraction in the locker room, but the Browns thrived without him last week as QB Baker Mayfield went 14/21 for 208 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT.
The big key for the Browns in the win over the Bengals was 137 yards rushing and 2 TD from Nick Chubb which included a 70-yard scoring run. Chubb looked solid in his second game back from an ankle injury but he’s out for the week 10 Browns at Patriots matchup due to being in COVID protocols. Kareem Hunt (calf) also remains out and RB Demetric Felton is in COVID protocols as well meaning D’Ernest Johnson (who had 146 yards in a win over the Broncos in week 7 gets to be the feature back again.
The good news for the Browns is that they are not alone on the injury front, as New England is without LB Jamie Collins (ankle) and possibly their top two leading rushers as both Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson suffered concussions vs. Carolina and haven’t practiced all week.
New England Back Home – But is That Good?
Patriots fans haven’t seen their team at Gillette Stadium since a 54-13 win over the Jets on October 24th. That dominant performance over New York was actually New England’s 1st win at home on the season (1-4) although they have played well in losses to Dallas (35-29 OT) and Tampa Bay (19-17) who are both atop their divisions.
Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels may ask QB Mac Jones to do more on Sunday with the team’s top two RBs likely out vs. Cleveland. Jones has thrown for just 217 and 139 the last two games – is that because he was playing on the road or signs that hitting the rookie wall is imminent? Jones did throw for 307 yards and 2 TD in his last home game – but that was also against the Jets.
Sunday’s matchup really could be a defensive struggle even though the betting total seems up there at 45. Both teams are thin in the backfield, and also facing a top 10 defense. Jones can have success throwing the ball – but he’s also up against a ferocious pass rush led by sack leader Myles Garrett(12). Mayfield has potential to move the ball through the air too – but he’s on the road and the Gillette Stadium crowd should be amped up for this one.
Free Week 10 Browns at Patriots Pick
The side could go either way in this one, as the Browns have a great offensive line and although Chubb is great it really is a plug and play system. At the same time the Patriots have just won two huge road games, so being back home should bring out their best effort. Ultimately the total looks to be the way to go in this matchup.
Browns 17 – Patriots 16
Free Pick: Under 45