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Patriots Live Blog: Cundiff’s Field Goal Short, Pats Win 27-26

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
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Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Tom Brady (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

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Final, 27-26 Patriots: The Browns drove to the Patriots’ 40-yard line, setting up Billy Cundiff with a 58-yard field goal attempt. It was on line, but short, and the Pats win.

What. A. Miracle.

Fourth quarter, :31, 27-26 Patriots: Another Patriots miracle is nearly complete in Foxboro.

Brady rolled right and threw a dart to Amendola, who just got in the end zone for six to give the Pats their first lead of the game with 31 seconds left.

Shane Vereen was stopped on the two-point conversion, so the Browns have a chance to kick a field goal to win the game on their next possession.

But … wow.

Fourth quarter, :35, 26-21 Browns: Perhaps it was some justice for the Luke Kuechly fiasco a few weeks ago, but the Pats were just the beneficiaries of a questionable defensive pass interference call on Cleveland. It’ll be first-and-goal from the 1 with 35 ticks left on the clock.

Fourth quarter, 1:00, 26-21 Browns: The Pats recovered the onside kick!

Gostkowski kicked it right up the middle, and Cleveland touched it first. New England recovered. It’ll be reviewed.

Fourth quarter, 1:01, 26-21 Browns: The Patriots have a chance.

It’s not a great chance, but it’s a chance nonetheless, as Brady and the Pats offense moves down the field better than they have all day. Shane Vereen was immense, as was Edelman, who came up with the touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.

Thanks to a personal foul on Jordan Poyer for a hit on Edelman, a defenseless receiver, the onside kick will be 15 yards farther upfield for the Pats. If they can recover it, they’ll have good field position.

Fourth quarter, 2:00, 26-14 Browns: The Pats are going to try to make a ridiculous comeback, and it’s started with a six-yard pass to Vereen and a 23-yard pass to Edelman. It’ll be first-and-10 from the New England 47-yard line after the two-minute warning.

Fourth quarter, 2:39, 26-14 Browns: Gillette Stadium is stunned, as Jason Campbell just lofted a touchdown pass to a wide open Jordan Cameron in the end zone for six.

The Browns lead by 12, and this one is all but over. What a shocker.

Fourth quarter, 3:32, 19-14 Browns: The call on the field stands. Huge play for the Browns.

Fourth quarter, 3:32, 19-14 Browns: The game may hang in the balance for a replay review of a Josh Gordon catch on third down. It was ruled a catch, and TV has yet to show replays that show it wasn’t caught, but we shall see.

If it’s upheld, it’ll be first-and-10 for Cleveland at the New England 21-yard line. If it’s overturned, the Browns will face a fourth-and-17 at the New England 40.

Fourth quarter, 5:43, 19-14 Browns: Tom Brady was sacked on third down, killing the Pats’ chances of a touchdown, but Stephen Gostkowski stepped up and booted a 50-yard field goal, just fitting it inside the right upright to cut the Browns’ lead to just five points.

The surprising play of that drive came courtesy of Matthew Mulligan, who took a short pass and ran free for a gain of 15 yards. Austin Collie also came up with a huge third-down reception right at the sticks to give the Pats a first down, as did Vereen earlier in the drive.

Pretty simple now: The Pats need a defensive stop and a touchdown to win.

Fourth quarter, 11:31, 19-11 Browns: Don’t look now, but the Patriots are feeling it.

Despite a defensive holding penalty that gave the Browns a free first down, the New England D forces a punt, and the Pats have a chance to tie the game with a TD and a two-point conversion.

Third quarter, :06, 19-11: And the Patriots answer right back.

Brady lobbed a deep ball to Shane Vereen up the left sideline, and the running back caught it while behind everyone for a gain of 50 yards. Brady then went back to Vereen for 16 yards, and then the running back took a handoff and had plenty of running room for a six-yard touchdown run.

That drive was, quite literally, all Vereen, and the Pats are back in it.

The two-point conversion attempt failed, but a defensive holding penalty gave the Pats another chance. Brady calmly waited for Edelman to come open over the middle, and the two connected for two points. Eight-point game now.

Third quarter, 1:25, 19-3 Browns: Well … that didn’t take long.

Josh Gordon caught a pass from Jason Campbell on a quick slant, and he simply turned on the afterburners to separate himself from Aqib Talib and Devin McCourty. Gordon essentially jogged the final 20 yards to stretch that Cleveland lead to 16 points.

Third quarter, 1:37, 12-3 Browns: It took nearly three full quarters, but the Patriots finally have points.

A fourth-and-1 conversion on a QB sneak by Brady kept the drive alive, and a 32-yard catch-and-run by Blount set up the Patriots deep in Cleveland territory. Yet the offense stalled, and the field-goal unit was called upon. Stephen Gostkowski drilled the 33-yarder, and the Patriots finally are on the scoreboard.

Third quarter, 5:23, 12-0 Browns: Everything kind of seems secondary after the Gronkowski injury, but the teams are playing on, of course. The Pats’ D came up with a third-down stop, and the Pats will get another chance to try to get some points on the board. Without No. 87, that’ll be even more difficult than before.

Third quarter, 8:08, 12-0 Browns: Hold your breath, Patriots fans. Rob Gronkowski is injured.

The tight end caught a pass up the left seam and took a helmet to the knee. He violently flipped to the ground and was in very clear pain. The CBS microphones picked up moaning sounds of pain, and the tight end is down.

The cart came onto the field and took Gronkowski off the field. That’s the Pats’ No. 1 man, so from that perspective it’s a huge loss. But from a humanity standpoint, it’s just tough to see the kid suffer another injury.

And on the next play, Brady fumbled the ball away, and the Browns take over.

Third quarter, 10:15, 12-0 Browns: Well … Gary Tarnidge didn’t make his way into any game previews, but he just scored the first touchdown of the afternoon. He caught a pass from Campbell and found himself with plenty of room to run. Devin McCourty couldn’t catch him from behind, and with Aqib Talib lying on the ground after he dragged Josh Gordon to the ground, the Pats’ defense has its ugliest moment of the day.

They stopped the Browns on the two-point conversion attempt, which was a run up the gut, but the Pats need points.

Third quarter, 12:09, 6-0 Browns: A new half, but the same results for the Patriots, who punted away after a holding penalty and a sack of Brady put them in an unenviable position of a second-and-28.

LeGarrette Blount took exception to Phillip Taylor diving down to make helmet-to-helmet contact while the running back was falling to the ground, which was the most emotion the Patriots have shown all day.

Third quarter, 15:00, 6-0 Browns: The second half is under way. First-and-10 Patriots at their own 20.

Halftime, 6-0 Browns: The fans who dished out hundreds of dollars aren’t liking what they’re seeing, and they let the team know with some boos as the team jogged off the field to head to the locker rooms for halftime.

The Pats’ D came up with the necessary stops on that final Cleveland drive, and Tom Brady took a knee after the ensuing punt.

The Browns outgained the Patriots 184-129, owning the time of possession as well with 19:39. Jason Campbell is outdueling Tom Brady, and the Pats are going to need another second-half comeback to avoid this being a disastrous day at home.

Second quarter, :50, 6-0 Browns: The Pats called two timeouts, hoping to come up with a stop and get a chance to at least put three points on the board before halftime. But Josh Gordon ran free across the field to pick up 18 yards on a third-and-4, and suddenly the Browns have a chance to tack on a field goal before halftime.

Second quarter, 1:06, 6-0 Browns: A promising drive for the Patriots … ends in a punt. Brady was pressured on third-and-7 near midfield, and he and Amendola were on a different page, leading to an incompletion. This is ugly stuff for the Pats.

Second quarter, 3:23, 6-0 Browns: The Browns threatened a bit, with Josh Gordon picking up 20 yards after a replay review gave the Browns a first down deep in their own end. But on a second-and-10, Jamie Collins read Campbell’s eyes and batted down his pass at the line. Gordon made a short catch on third down but Talib was there to make the tackle.

Pats take over at their own 3-yard line after the Browns’ punt was downed near the goal line. That won’t make snapping out of the offensive funk any easier.

Second quarter, 6:51, 6-0 Browns: The Pats were forced to punt after a questionable non-call on third down. Danny Amendola was popped by Buster Skrine over the middle on third-and-11, knocking the receiver off his route as Brady’s pass sailed his way. The ball fell to the turf, and the Pats once again punted.

Josh Boyce had a first-down pickup on that drive, but he also dropped a second-down screen pass from Brady prior to the third-and-11. Lots of drops out there for the Patriots today, and the offense remains out of sync.

Second quarter, 8;13, 6-0 Browns: The defense answers the call on that drive, forcing Cleveland into a three-and-out. A gang of tacklers stopped Ogbonnaya on third-and-1 to force the punt, and the Pats now have their best starting field position of the day at their own 32.

Second quarter, 10:16, 6-0 Browns: The Patriots had a decent drive working, but then a penalty for an illegal shift (Gronkowski adjusted himself in a three-point stance while Amendola was motioning behind him) and a sack by Barkevious Mingo set up a third-and-18. Brady threw to Vereen on a screen, but Vereen dropped it, thereby keeping the Patriots well out of field-goal range.

It’ll be first-and-10 for the Browns at their own 11, and the Pats’ offense is forcing the defense to be mighty good early on here.

Second quarter, 14:45, 6-0 Browns: Josh Gordon nearly made a catch to move the chains, but the receiver dropped the ball as he fell to the ground out of bounds. It was initially ruled a catch, but Jerome Boger’s crew met and ruled it incomplete.

Billy Cundiff hit his second field goal of the game, and as bad as the Patriots have been outplayed, they’re just one play away from taking the lead.

End of first quarter, 3-0 Browns: The Browns are threatening to score again, thanks to a 21-yard scramble by Jason Campbell and a six-yard completion to Jordan Cameron in a 1-on-1 situation against Steve Gregory on a third-and-4.

The Browns have gained 113 yards to the Patriots’ 22 yards, which is … the type of terrible start from New England we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

First quarter, 3:31, 3-0 Browns: Facing a third-and-10, Brady tried to hit rookie Josh Boyce on a deep in-cut, but linebacker D’Qwell Jackson read the QB’s eyes and stepped right in front of the pass and make an interception.

Earlier in the drive, Brady hit Julian Edelman in the hands on a deep crossing route, but Edelman couldn’t make the catch. LeGarrette Blount has run like a bull, picking up 17 yards on his two carries.

First quarter, 4:47, 3-0 Browns: The Browns were driving yet again when Alfonzo Dennard tried to put an arm tackle on Chris Ogbonnaya. Dennard remained down on the turf in clear pain, and the Pats may be down a cornerback for this one. Dennard headed to the locker room.

On the next play, Jason Campbell’s deep pass to Little had a little too much on it, and the Browns punted.

Julian Edelman’s fair catch sets up the Pats at their own 18-yard line.

First quarter, 8:32, 3-0 Browns: Two straight incompletions to Gronkwoski (the first a deep ball up the left seam that flew just over Gronkowski’s giant mitts) and a 5-yard dump-off to Shane Vereen, and the Pats go three-and-out. Is another slow start taking place?

First quarter, 9:18, 3-0 Browns: Dont’a Hightower has come under fire in recent weeks to his underwhelming play, but he nearly made up for some of it by stripping the ball from Greg Little on a second-and-8 from the New England 26-yard line. Yet an official blew a whistle quickly, blowing the play dead at Little’s lack of forward progress, thereby taking a big turnover away from the Pats’ defense.

Tough break for New England, which allowed the Browns to march fairly easily down the field on nine plays. But the Pats came up with a third down stop, and Billy Cundiff successfully kicked a 43-yarder to give the Browns an early 3-0 lead.

First quarter, 15:00: Stephen Gostkowski’s opening kickoff was returned out to the 28-yard line, and this game is under way.

1:01 p.m.: Just about ready for kickoff. The Pats have deferred and will kick to the Browns.

11:54 a.m.: The inactive lists are in, and as expected, Stevan Ridley is active.

Interestingly, Brandon Bolden is not active, which will likely mean Ridley is bound to get his share of carries.

Here are Levan Reid’s thoughts on the inactive list: “Immediately what you take from this is Pats running back Stevan Ridley is back in the line up. This becomes a big game for him. He has to hold on to the ball first and worry about the yards afterward. The Pats need to trust him. Expect 10 to 15 carries for Ridley. … No rookie wide receivers [Dobson, Thompkins] means James Develin will once again be involved in the passing game and Julian Edelman will see more throws his way. Edelman is having his best season as a pro by far.”

The complete list of inactives is below:

PATRIOTS
Steve Beauharnais, LB
Aaron Dobson, WR
Brandon Bolden, RB
Jake Bequette, DL
Michael Hoomanawanui, TE
Kenbrell Thompkins, WR
Marcus Cannon, OL

BROWNS
Brandon Weeden, QB
Alex Tanney, QB
Keavon Milton, TE
Josh Cooper, WR
Martin Wallace, OL
Garrett Gilkey, OL
Reid Fragel, OL

10:30 a.m.: The Stevan Ridley punishment — at least in terms of wearing street clothes during games — looks to be over.

Multiple reports on Sunday morning say that the running back will indeed be back in uniform this afternoon at Gillette Stadium as the Patriots host the Cleveland Browns.

What kind of role he’ll have is not yet known, but with four games left before the playoffs, and with Ridley being far-and-away the team’s most explosive ball carrier, today will likely mark the beginning of the process to get Ridley ready for January. He’s pretty much used up all of his chances with regard to fumbling the football, so one more may be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

There will be much more today, and I’ll have it all for you here in the live blog. That will start when the inactives are announced, and it will continue all the way through the game until the final whistle. Stick with the live blog for every update you need.

Read more from Michael by clicking here, or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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