The New England Patriots celebrated their fourth straight win on Sunday, beating the visiting Cleveland Browns with a final score of 45-7. As was the case for much of the season, the game again saw some healthy contributions from members of the Patriots’ draft class. While again not using a lot of first-year players, those who did see the field played a big role.
With that being said, let’s take a look at how they fared — starting, of course, with Mac Jones.
QB Mac Jones
- Offensive snaps: 58 of 67 (87%)
- Special teams snaps: N/A
After playing a solid game against the Carolina Panthers a week ago, Mac Jones delivered arguably the best performance of his young career on Sunday versus the Browns. The numbers already show how productive the 15th overall selection of this year’s draft was: Jones completed 19 of 23 pass attempts for a season-best completion percentage of 82.6. He gained 198 yards through the air and also celebrated the first three-touchdown game of his career.
Playing behind a stout offensive line, Jones appeared to be in total control from start to finish. The youngster led five touchdown drives and a field goal drive in seven possessions before being pulled from the game in the fourth quarter. He also appeared to be much more confident testing the defense deep: look no further than his throws to Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne on the 99-yard drive in the second quarter.
All in all, Jones was impressive against a solid defensive unit.
DT Christian Barmore
- Defensive snaps: 45 of 59 (78%)
- Special teams snaps: 1 of 25 (4%)
Once again leading his position group with a playing time share of 78 percent, Christian Barmore continues to play some quality football for the Patriots. Against Cleveland, the second-round pick ranked second on the team in quarterback disruptions (5) and he also added two tackles while serving primarily as an interior pass rusher.
Filling the old Adam Butler role as a penetrating force up the middle, Barmore has carved out a nice role in the New England front seven — a role that should only continue to grow if the youngster keeps up his high level of play.
RB Rhamondre Stevenson
- Offensive snaps: 37 of 67 (55%)
- Special teams snaps: 1 of 22 (5%)
Even though he did not participate in practice leading up to the game, Rhamondre Stevenson shined against the Browns’ typically solid run defense. Serving as the Patriots’ RB1 in place of Damien Harris, who missed the game due to a concussion, Stevenson was on the field for 37 snaps and he made the most out of them.
He led the team with 20 carries and registered the first 100-yard game of his career. Stevenson also found the end zone twice and notched four receptions for 14 total yards.
His statistics do not tell the whole story of his dominance, though. The fourth-round pick, who was dealing with a concussion himself throughout the week, played a physical game and found yards even when no space appeared to be open. His carry on 1st-and-10 from the Patriots’ own 1-yard line was a perfect example of that: he saw a hole that just big enough for him to fit through, but fit through he did for a 5-yard gain.
LB Ronnie Perkins
The 96th selection in this year’s draft will have to wait another week for his NFL debut. After missing the early parts of the regular season due to a shoulder injury and later struggling with an ankle issue, Ronnie Perkins was again declared inactive in Week 10. He was not listed on the injury report heading into the weekend, meaning that he was a healthy scratch for the fourth week in a row.
CB Shaun Wade
While Shaun Wade is no longer listed on the injury report, the Patriots’ trade acquisition via way of Baltimore still has to wait for his NFL debut. He was a healthy scratch against the Browns, and appears to be an emergency option at the moment. As is the case with Ronnie Perkins, 2021 is shaping up to be a redshirt year for the youngster.