BREAKING NEWS: 3 Dead, 100+ Hurt In New Jersey Commuter Train Crash | Read More | Watch CBS News Live

TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Cleveland Browns At New England Patriots

Cleveland Browns
New England Patriots
(credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
(credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Browns continue to rack up quarterback injuries. Brandon Weeden suffered a concussion late in the Week 13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars and he will have to go through the concussion protocol before he can play against the Patriots. If Weeden or Cambell can’t go, look for Caleb Hanie, who the Browns signed on Tuesday, possibly get the start over Alex Tanney.
Winner While Tom Brady was struggling in the first half of the season, he has been on top of his game since Rob Gronkowski returned to the New England lineup. Brady has three 300-plus yard games in his last four starts and he has been distributing the ball with accuracy and confidence. Brady has completed 60.7 percent of his passes and he has a 19-8 TD-interception ratio.
Offense
The Cleveland running attack has been a liability for much of the season, but if running back Chris Ogbonnaya is going to have an impact, it should be against New England’s soft run defense. Wide receiver Josh Gordon is a remarkable talent who became the first player in NFL history with back-to-back 200-yard receiving games. Tight end Jordan Cameron is a fine red zone target.
Winner The return of Rob Gronkowski to the lineup has given the Patriots a much more productive offense since the tight end almost always finds a way to get open and he is an excellent runner after the catch. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are solid complementary receivers. Shane Vereen appears to be getting the bulk of the work in the New England running game since Stevan Ridley has a fumbling problem.
Defense
Winner The Browns have played quite well on defense this year and they rank fourth in yards allowed. Middle linebacker D’Qwell Jackson leads the Browns with 103 tackles and he has also been credited with five passes defensed. Cornerback Joe Haden has a team-high four interceptions and 21 passes defensed, but he will have some lapses in coverage.
The Patriots have been hit hard by injuries to Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo that have hurt them when defending the run, but the return of cornerback Aqib Talib makes them much tougher against the pass. Defensive end Chandler Jones has a team-high 10.5 sacks and is a credible pass rusher. Linebacker Rob Ninkovich has 71 tackles, 5.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Special Teams
The Browns do a solid job in their kickoff and punt coverage, and they have gotten a punt return for a touchdown from Travis Benjamin. Billy Cundiff is not the kind of kicker who is going to fearlessly make long field goals when the game is on the line.
Winner The Patriots have been quite solid in their special teams coverage this year, as they have not given up a punt return of longer than 23 yards. Edelman has a lot of quickness and needs just a crack to break a long play. Stephen Gostkowski has made 28-of-30 FG attempts, including 4-of-5 from 50-plus yards.

The Winner Is

(credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Winner New England Patriots
3 out of 4

The Patriots have an excellent chance at winning the No. 2 seed and gaining a bye in the first round of the playoffs, but they need to win out and hope the Broncos lose if they are going to make sure the AFC playoffs run through Foxboro. Look for New England to take charge early in this game.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants breaks a tackle by Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins in the second half at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against Everson Griffen #97 and Tom Johnson #92 of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1st half during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: New York Giants At Minnesota Vikings

    The Vikings defense has annihilated every opponent so far. Can they do it to the explosive Giants offense this week?

  2. KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 25: Center Mitch Morse #61 of the Kansas City Chiefs prepares to snap the ball to Alex Smith #11 at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game against the New York Jets on September 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Quarterback  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against  Bennie Logan #96 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Kansas City Chiefs At Pittsburgh Steelers

    The Chiefs and Steelers battle it out in a match-up of AFC playoff contenders.

  3. ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 25:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Running back Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 25, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 37-18.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Week 4 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys At San Francisco 49ers

    The Cowboys have been rolling with rookie QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliott. They look to continue that momentum this week.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Boston

WheelMobile
Download Our App
Download Weather App

Listen Live