Happy victory Monday all! We are back at it with another three ups and three downs article. The Patriots moved to 8-0 yesterday with a 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. The win puts the Patriots perfect through the first half of the NFL season. They get another AFC North foe on Sunday night when they travel to Baltimore to take on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. Before we completely move onto Baltimore, let's look back at the Browns-Patriots game.
Up: Jonathan Jones
It was a big play that needed to made. Jonathan Jones stripped Nick Chubb as Chubb looked to break off a long run for a touchdown. That changed the dynamic of the game. The Browns looked like they were about to go down, score, and make this game hard for the Patriots. But Jones came through and punched the ball out of Chubb's hand. If he doesn't make that play, this game could have been too close for comfort. Credit to Jones for hustling and not giving up on the play!
Down: Jake Bailey
The rookie punter has been dependable all year long for the Patriots. Sunday was not one of Jake Bailey's better games. He had one punt only travel 39 yards. One of his kickoffs went out of bounds, which gave the Browns possession at their own 40 yard line. Like I just said, Bailey has been dependable all season long and this shouldn't concern people. In sloppy conditions, it wasn't necessarily surprising to see Bailey have one of his worst games of the season.
Up: Jamie Collins
Jamie Collins was all over the field yesterday. He had 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks on the day. Collins had something to prove in this game. Keep in mind, he was a part of the 0-16 Browns back in 2017. He looks so much more determined and hungry than he was in his first Patriots stint. If he keeps this up, Collins could easily be looking at a Pro Bowl appearance when the 2019 season concludes.
Down: Rex Burkhead
Rex Burkhead returned from injury yesterday. Safe to say, he looked rusty. He only had three rushing attempts on the afternoon and four yards to his credit. Burkhead is a power back and he didn't look as powerful yesterday. He gets a pass for just coming off of the injured reserved list. But make no mistake about it, Burkhead didn't look great or comfortable.
Up: Bill Belichick
Bill got Cleveland's last playoff win against the Patriots. It's only fitting that his 300th career win came against Cleveland. Belichick has been a staple in the Patriots success since he started winning Super Bowls for them in 2001. It's amazing to see how long Belichick has been around to get to the 300 win mark. Congrats Coach Belichick! That's a job well done. But, we're on to Baltimore now.
Down: Jakobi Meyers
Just when I thought Jakobi Meyers was breaking through, he has a dud game. The receiver only had one reception all game for five yards. This could be due to the fact that Mohamed Sanu is now in the fold. But whatever the reasoning is, Meyers was not involved as much as he was in previous weeks. We'll see what happens in Baltimore. But for now, there might be reason for concern that Meyers might not be involved with the offense as much going forward.
Another great team win for the Patriots. Sure, it wasn't as dominant as the other seven. But hey, it was raining and the Patriots got the win at the end of the game. Now, the tough part of the schedule comes up. The next five games are as follows: @Baltimore, @Philadelphia, Dallas, @Houston, Kansas City. In these next five games, we'll see just how good this Patriots defense plays. We'll also see if the offense can put up a big amount of points against better defenses. Enjoy victory Monday folks! Starting tomorrow, it's on to the toughest part of the season. Let's ride!