New England Patriots 4 Downs Review: Week 8 vs Cleveland Browns
4th Down: Tough test for dominant defense
The New England Patriots defense once again flexed their muscles, this time against the Cleveland Browns offense. They forced three consecutive turnovers on three Browns plays, and one of those led to a Dont’a Hightower fumble-recovery touchdown.
They did however give up 13 points, which is the second-most they’ve given up all season long. Despite only giving up 151 yards through the air, the defense struggled stopping the run, as they allowed the Browns to rush for over 150 yards (159 yards to be exact). The New England defense sort of held Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield’s top targets down as well, allowing 65 yards to Jarvis Landry and 52 yards to Odell Beckham Jr.
“I think anytime that we’re able to get the ball and take it away from the offense and give the ball to our offense, it’s a benefit for us. Even better when we’re able to get it and score or get it and change field position. It definitely helped us a few times today,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said of his defense during his postgame press conference, via the team website.
“It was just one of those things where you have to make plays when they come to you. It just so happened to be my time to make a play and I did, on both of the sacks,” defensive lineman Adam Butler said in the locker room afterward, again via the team site.
Jonathan Jones – who had a magnificent defensive play when he ran down Browns RB Nick Chubb and stripped the ball before he could score – spoke with the media on the team’s website about his contributions on defense:
"“A lot of what some coaches emphasize is getting the ball out, applying pressure to the ball, especially today as we knew it was going to be raining. That was a key part of it, attacking the ball over and over, and I feel like we did a good job at that.”"
Indeed they did. It was yet another good win for this dominant Patriots defense, and it was all the more impressive since it came against a talented offense like the Browns. Next up for New England: a Week 9 road trip on Sunday Night Football to take on the Baltimore Ravens.