After a heartbreaking loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars last Sunday, the Cleveland Browns head to New England to face Bill Belichick’s Patriots this week. With four games left, the wheels at the quarterback position appear to be falling off. One of the two newly signed quarterbacks are most likely to start this Sunday for the Browns. Does the phrase “Any given Sunday” apply this week for the Browns? Here is what it will take to beat the first place New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Dawg Bone #1
Keep Brady off the Field
A future Hall-of Famer, Tom Brady orchestrates the Patriots offense to perfection no matter what pieces he has. Brady is the ultimate NFL quarterback that Cleveland has lacked for 14 years. The Patriots are averaging almost 27 points a game and Brady has surpassed the 3,000 yard mark in passing with four games left. Nothing good can happen for the Browns when Brady is on the field. A key to keeping Brady off the field will be time of possession. Brady’s top weapon is Julian Edelman of all people, with 70 receptions, 711 yards, and 4 touchdowns.. The Pats quarterback just has a knack for making players around him better than they actually are.
Dawg Bone #2
Stop the Ground Game
Ranked 12th in the NFL in rushing offense, the Patriots are gaining 123 yards on the ground every game. The Patriots use a running back by committee in Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and Brandon Bolden. There was a chink in the armor last week for the Browns as the Jags ran for 112 yards. Coach Belichick is going to pound the ball and try to get that same success against the Browns. It’s supposed to be 35 degrees on a cold day in Gillette Stadium, the Patriots are going to run at the Cleveland.
Dawg Bone #3
Forget the past, Stay Together
Often at this time in the season, the Browns give up and players can’t wait for the off-season. The Browns must let bygones be bygones and move forward. There is nothing that can be done about the previous 12 games. Cleveland must treat these last four games like a four game season and do what they can to make the best of it. This team has not regressed and they are a much better team than the record shows. Browns diehards may not want to hear it, but the 2014 season will be the season where this team makes bigger strides. This was never a one year rebuild and the front office knew that all along.
Ryan Ruiz is the Cleveland Browns Beat Writer for The Inscriber: Digital Magazine. You can follow him on Facebook: Ryan (BrownsWriter) Ruiz and Twitter @ryanpruiz24. Ryan is also a Browns correspondent for The Sportsfix. Tune in every Friday at noon on www.thesportsfix.net. Have a question or comment for the “ASK Ryan” column on Fridays? Email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org