Who's Got the Edge: Week Nine

New England Patriots

Matchup

Cleveland Browns

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Edge: Patriots

 

Patriots Pass Offense

Vs.

Browns Pass Defense

 

The Browns have a solid secondary with the likes of cornerback Eric Wright and rookie safety T.J. Ward.  However, rookie Joe Haden has struggled, and Sheldon Brown (despite two interceptions) isn't what he once was.  They also allow 7.6 yards completion, and are 22nd in total passing yards around.  While the Cleveland secondary is solid, the Patriots have too many weapons and get the edge here.

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Slight Edge: Patriots

 

Patriots Rush Offense

Vs.

Browns Run Defense

Once again, Cleveland has been pretty solid against the run this year, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry.  While they shut down New Orleans on the ground last week, they let up big numbers to the Falcons a few weeks ago.  This is a case where the Patriots have been running the ball well as of late, and therefore I'm giving them a slight advantage here.

What? The advantage to the Browns led by rookie quarterback Colt McCoy?  Yes.  And here's why: this has nothing to do with talent but to do with schemes.  Colt McCoy is an accurate West Coast quarterback who will settle for a lot of underneath throws.  The Patriots?  Those are the throws that they allow.  This means that McCoy will get what he wants, although he will struggle in the red zone.  The Patriots will have to adjust to regain the advantage here.

 

 

Browns Pass Offense

Vs.

Patriots Pass Defense

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Slight Edge: Browns

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Slight Edge: Patriots

 

Browns Rush Offense

Vs.

Patriots Rush Defense

The Patriots rush defense has quietly been very solid this season, especially against power running teams.  What are the Browns? A power running team led by Peyton Hillis.  I like the Patriots strength up front, and I'd expect a lot of Brace-Warren-Wilfork fronts.  With those three, the Patriots can out-match any running team, even a strong one like the Browns.

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Slight Edge: Patriots

 

Special Teams

The Browns are a well coached special teams unit.  They have the explosive Josh Cribbs returning kicks, they are willing to mix it up with trick plays.  Phil Dawson is one of the most accurate kickers in the league.  The problem? The Patriots have the best special teams in the league.  Until proven otherwise, I'm not giving any other team the advantage here.

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Edge: Patriots

 

 

Coaching

Ooooh... the Mangini/Belichick rivalry.  Are you interested?  I'm sort of losing interest.  I'm actually in the minority and believe that Eric Mangini is a solid NFL coach.  He's in the middle of a rebuilding project, but has a team that's competitive every single week.  Too bad his coaching match-up is Billy Belichick. Roasted?

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Patriots: 30

Prediction

This will be a close-ish game.  Some are predicting this will be a trap game for the Patriots... which means it probably won't be.  Patriots win by 14 in a competitive game.

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Browns: 16

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