While Jones' inexperience back there has been concerning at times, Gostkowskis misses and barely made its are a lot more troubling. His sudden inconsistency has me wondering if the added strategy of kicking for a short return has messed with his kicking motion. Before this year his kickoffs were pretty much an exhibition of "Look how far and straight I can kick kick the ball. If my team wasn't so good I'd have mutiple 70 yard field goals on my resume."
Playing against a poor Cleveland defense should be a great way to get Brady and Gronk into the swing of things. Just how poor is the Browns' defense?
- They rank in the middle of the pack with giving up big rushing plays (12).
- They are 21st with opponent 3rd down efficiency.
- 24th with opponent big passing plays.
- 27th with points allowed (28.8 per game).
Defense- This year's defense is more bendable than a Stretch Armstrong. They have somehow managed to have one of the worst 3rd down efficiency ratings (30th/ 46.2%) yet they are only allowing 15.3 points per game (4th best).
Today the defense will have a tough test as the Browns offense is pretty good at moving the ball. Of course, they are the Browns so the moving of the ball isn't exactly translating into enough points for a win. Chances are the Browns will move the chains more than Patriots fans want to see, but as usual the defense will avoid giving up the big plays and will make them settle for field goals.
The three people the defense needs to stop:
Cody Kessler- Don't let another unknown rookie quarterback look like a stud.
Duke Johnson Jr. - 24 rushes for 148 yards and 18 receptions for 115 yards. 102 of those reception yards are after the catch....tackle him in the backfield.
Isaiah Crowell- 61 carries for 394 yards- 3 touchdowns. 17 first downs. 6 catches for 53 yards (61 YAC)