Skip to main content


3 Big Takeaways: More adversity at QB, running game bottled up vs. Patriots



]( quick reactions to Cleveland's 33-13 loss to the New England Patriots …

More adversity at QB

Cody Kessler was just a few minutes removed from one of his best drives of the season when he suffered an injury that delivered even more adversity to a Browns position that's had its fair share of it through five weeks of the season.

Dont'a Hightower went untouched as he drove Kessler to the ground late in Sunday's first quarter. Kessler got rid of the ball just before the linebacker crushed his chest and rib area, but it went backward and out of the side of the end zone for a safety.

Kessler retreated to the locker room, came back to the sidelines but never returned to the field. A mix of veteran Charlie Whitehurst, who left with an injury late in the fourth quarter but was deemed probable to return, and wide receiver Terrelle Pryor filled the void the rest of the way in Cleveland's 33-13 loss. Whitehurst threw for 182 yards, a touchdown and an interception in his first action since Dec. 2015.

Whitehurst became the fifth player to take a snap at quarterback for the Browns through the first five weeks of the season. Robert Griffin III is on injured reserve, Josh McCown is week to week with a shoulder injury and Kessler's status is uncertain after the big hit he took Sunday. X-Rays were negative on Kessler's injury but he'll be re-evaluated in the coming days.

With Kessler at quarterback, the Browns went three-and-out on their opening possession but found a nice rhythm on their second drive. Cleveland got rolling when Kessler completed a 16-yard pass to Andrew Hawkins and moved into field goal range with an 18-yard dump pass to Isaiah Crowell. Kessler's second touchdown pass of the season came shortly thereafter, as he found an open Hawkins in the left corner of the end zone.

Kessler finished 5-of-8 for 62 yards.

Patriots' fast start puts Browns D in big hole early

For a second consecutive week, the Browns' defense faced an offensive onslaught to start the game.

The Patriots, with Tom Brady under center for the first time this season, motored down the field on their first three possessions to run out to a 23-7 lead less than 3 minutes into the second quarter. Brady found soft spots in the middle of Cleveland's defense with passes to Julian Edelman and big tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Patriots' other tight end, Martellus Bennett, was on the receiving end of all three of Brady's touchdown passes.

Brady threw for 406 yards in his return from a four-game suspension. Gronkowski and Bennett combined for 176 receiving yards.

The Browns bottled up New England's running attack and limited the damage the rest of the way, but the early hole was too much to overcome for a Cleveland offense that was once again dealing with adversity at the quarterback position.

Patriots bottle up Browns running attack

The Browns entered Sunday's game ranked No. 1 in the NFL in rushing offense, but Cleveland couldn't get its ground game rolling for a fifth consecutive week.

Even with Kessler on the field, the Browns weren't finding the holes they had during the first month of the season. Crowell and Duke Johnson Jr. combined for just 11 yards in the first half and didn't get many more in the second, as Cleveland finished with 27 on the day. The Browns' longest rush went for 6 yards.

The Browns' previous low rushing yardage total on the season was 120 yards in the opener at Philadelphia.

The Browns play the Patriots in week 5.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content