Browns drop 3rd straight game in loss to Patriots
The Browns extended their losing streak to three games Sunday with a 38-15 loss to the Patriots at FirstEnergy Stadium. Cleveland's offense never found a rhythm and settled for just one touchdown and three field goals. The Patriots, meanwhile, benefitted from a big day from rookie QB Bailey Zappe, who started over an injured Mac Jones. Zappe completed 24-of-34 passes for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Browns QB Jacoby Brissett couldn't find the similar stretches of consistency that powered the offense to stay afloat in the first five games of the season. Brissettt completed 21-of-45 attempts for 266 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. His 54.5 passer rating was his lowest in a game this season.
The Browns clawed back to within two possessions of the Patriots when Brissett hit WR Amari Cooper for a 15-yard touchdown pass with 6:17 left. After the Browns didn't convert on a 2-point conversion, S Ronnie Harrison appeared to recover an onside kick to give the Browns possession again, but CB A.J. Green touched the ball while he was out of bounds, giving the Patriots possession. The Browns forced a three-and-out by the Patriots, but Browns punt returner Chester Rogers muffed the punt, giving the ball back to New England. The Patriots scored on the next possession and capitalized on another Browns fumble on the next possession with another touchdown to turn the game into a blowout. The Browns' three-game losing streak is just the second time the Browns have lost three straight under head coach Kevin Stefanski. Myles Garrett broke the Browns' all-time sack record with a strip-sack on Zappe in the first quarter. Garrett tallied sack No. 62.5 of his six-year career, which moved him ahead of Clay Matthews (62) on the franchise leaderboard. Garrett, however, left the game in the fourth quarter with an injury after recording the second sack of the day. RG Wyatt Teller also left the game in the second quarter due to a calf injury and was replaced by Hjalte Froholdt.