Today, the New England Patriots will host the Cleveland Browns at 1:00 PM ET on CBS. While this may not seem like a particularly close match-up on paper, as last week's game against the Houston Texans showed, the Patriots can't take any opponent for granted.
The Patriots need a victory to keep pace for a first round bye in the AFC playoff race. The Browns, meanwhile, are on the verge of being eliminated from playoff contention after being in the thick of the race just a couple of weeks ago. They do however, feature one of the league's most electrifying young receivers in Josh Gordon. The Patriots defensive backs are banged up, but they should have a lot of bodies out there. You can be sure that the Patriots will make it their number one focus defensively to slow Gordon.
Another potential match-up to watch is how the Patriots defend Jordan Cameron. If the Patriots play a fair amount of base and have their linebackers on Cameron, he could be in for a big day.
Overall, this is a game the Patriots must show up for early. I do believe that the 2010 blowout loss to Cleveland will be on their minds. And I do think that the Patriots, for the first time in weeks, will show up ready to play. Greg's Prediction: Patriots 34 Browns 17
For Browns coverage, be sure to check out Dawgs by Nature.