Oh boy. Here we go. The AFC’s only undefeated team, none other than the New England Patriots, hosts our Browns this Sunday. An unusual 4:25 p.m. kickoff with the NFL’s best proves to be an extreme challenge. While Vegas has this game heavily in New England’s favor, any type of victory of any sort would be such a massive statement win that you can’t put it into words how big it would be to strike New England’s first L of the season.
So, with that, let’s see what’s in store for us this Sunday:
The Hometown Patriots:
The Patriots are coming off an absolute dismantling of the Jets on primetime football, blowing them out hard, 33-0, on Monday. As if being really good at football on the material plane wasn’t enough, Bill Belichick and ageless Tom Brady seem to have channeled their dark magic into conjuring ghosts on the field, which relentlessly harassed Sam Darnold to the tune of having his career-worst game, going a miserable 11/32 with 86 yards to a whopping four interceptions and one lost fumble.
Right now, New England is relatively unscathed, likely thanks to Belichick’s ominous rituals he performs while spending 24/7 in the team’s locker room in between games. At worst, the Patriots could find themselves without a tandem of tight ends in Ryan Izzo (concussion) and Matt LaCosse (knee) who haven’t practiced this week. While RB Rex Burkhead, S Patrick Chung and last year’s Super Bowl MVP in Julian Edelman are all questionable, the Patriots are notorious for being conservative with nagging injuries throughout weeks leading up to the game. That or Belichick just needs more time for his dark mending spells and decides to use the injury report as a diversion to dodge media attention while he gains the dark gods’ favor.
The Patriots are unbeaten, a perfect 7-0. Looking ahead, they maybe have two losable games on their schedule (not counting this one, if you believe this to be a losable game for them). As always, the Patriots have a stronghold on both their division and the AFC and will seek a win on Sunday just to make sure they can have the division wrapped up by early/mid-November as always.
The Visiting Browns:
The Browns are fresh off a bye week, which followed up a painful loss to Seattle at home, 32-28. At 2-4, the team is in dire need of a win.
For the Browns right now, they could be without the services of S Damarious Randall (hamstring) but there’s no doubt that CBs Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams (hamstring) will be available, as they’ve had no issues practicing in full capacity this week. Fortunately, Baker Mayfield (chest) has had no issues following the rough hit he took in the loss to Seattle and his availability isn’t remotely in question. The same could be said for Odell Beckham Jr. (groin).
With the Ravens pulling ahead farther in the AFC North via winning in Seattle and the Steelers getting a freebie at home against the Dolphins, the Browns desperately need a win Sunday to remain in shouting distance of the division. At 2-4, even with a less oppressive schedule coming up, another loss would make the playoffs rather unlikely at this time.