Good evening, Patriots fans! Wow…what a game. How many times have we said that now? Well frankly, I don’t really know. What I do know is you can add another one of those to your list because the New England Patriots made another miracle today. They defeated the Cleveland Browns at home 27-26. How they got there though was a story of great endeavor.
This first half was really dead for both teams, but more for the Pats. On the opening drive, the Browns got a 43 yard field goal from Billy Cundiff (ayy welcome back bro!). A pick thrown by Tom Brady led to another Cundiff field goal, this time from 37 yards out. At the half, it was 6-0 Browns.
The second half was when things got interesting. Cleveland drove down the field and found their way into the endzone. Jason Campbell found Gary Barnbridge, who caught and ran the ball for 40 yards. The 2 point conversion was no good, though. The next Patriots possession will haunt us fans for the remainder of the season. Brady found Rob Gronkowski, who made a great catch. But during the catch, a Browns player took him down by the leg. Immediately Gronk grimaced in pain and we could hear the stuff he was saying (thanks to CBS for not censoring some of his words)…it was not good. According to FoxSports, Gronk suffered a possible ACL tear. Other reports say he will have an MRI but the ACL tear does seem realistic. That’s devastating because that would keep him out the entire year.
I was hoping the Patriots could do something to avenge Gronk’s loss. But the ensuing play after his injury let to Brady fumbling the ball. They did get some offense going later on though and gave Stephen Gostkowski the opportunity to hit a 33 yard field goal, which he did. Cleveland responded with Jason Campbell finding star wide receiver Josh Gordon, who ran it 80 yards for a touchdown. That was a true killer, in my opinion. But New England did respond, with Brady finding Shane Vereen for a 60 yard pass. Vereen would later run into the endzone for the score and Julian Edelman helped the Pats get the 2 point conversion. The next Pats possession featured Vereen and Stevan Ridley (who came back from his benching) making big plays. In addition, Brady got to over 300 yards passing (the first time the Browns have allowed a QB to pass more than 300 yards). Unfortunately, all they could get was a field goal, a 50 yarder from Gostkowski.
Now things start to get interesting. Cleveland had the ball and they took up a lot of clock. And then they stuck the dagger in all Pats fans’ hearts. Campbell found Jordan Cameron wide open, and after the extra point, it was 26-14 Browns with just over 2 minutes left in the game. But never say never! New England drove down the field and Brady found Edelman with about a minute to go (Gostkowski’s PAT was good). It was all up to that onside kick. Gostkowski kicked the ball in such a way that it created a cluster among players from both teams, and the ball went off one of Cleveland’s players – recovered by New England! With 1 minute to go, the Pats had the ball around the Browns’ 40 and no timeouts. On one play, Brady threw the ball deep to Josh Boyce who was going for the touchdown...incomplete – but wait! The Browns were called for pass interference, giving New England the ball at their 1 yard line. They took no time in scoring, with Brady finding Danny Amendola who caught the ball and dove into the endzone for the Patriots touchdown! The Browns nearly did comeback but Cundiff’s 58 yard field goal was no good – it’s over! Your final: New England Patriots 27 – Cleveland Browns 26! Our Pats are 10-3 on the season and can clinch a playoff spot and the AFC East crown with a win in Miami next week. Enjoy the weekend (and the snow if you’ve got any today), Pats fans! The day is ours, let’s go Patriots!