GREEN SITS OUT ... Browns running back William Green arrived at the Stadium Sunday morning hoping to play, but after testing his injured right shoulder prior to the game, he was scratched from the lineup.
James Jackson replaced Green, running for 71 yards on 15 carries in his first start since 2001.
"It felt good to get back out there again," said Jackson. "I think I'm a much better running back now than I was back (in 2001). I've put the past behind me ... I had a good preseason and I made a vow to myself to carry that over to the regular season and play hard whenever my number is called."
The thumb hit the shoulder pad of Patriots defensive lineman Bobby Hamilton. Couch played one more series before leaving for X-rays with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.
"He was having a hard time holding on to the ball," said Davis. "So we had to go to (Holcomb)." Before he left, Couch completed 7-of-11 passes for 40 yards.
STILL HURTING ... Holcomb admitted the right ankle he broke five weeks ago may never return to 100-percent this season, but said it felt "pretty good" immediately after the game.
"I was anxious to see how it would respond," said Holcomb,. "I think I did pretty well ... Last week I played one quarter and five minutes. This week I played two quarters and five minutes."
IN NEED OF A BREAK ... The Browns are hoping the upcoming bye week will give their injured a chance to heal in time for another second-half run.
"We really need this week off to get healthy," said Jackson. "I think we are going to have to win at least seven of the last eight games."
The Browns won seven of their last 10 last season to sneak into the playoffs as a wild card.
The projected starters from the beginning of the season who did not start Sunday due to injury included offensive linemen Ross Verba (bicep), Barry Stokes (ankle), Shaun O'Hara (knee) and center Jeff Faine (knee), running back William Green (shoulder) and quarterback Kelly Holcomb (ankle).
All but Verba, who is out for the year, could be ready to return to the starting lineup when the Browns play their next game.
"This bye couldn't have come at a better time," said right tackle Barry Stokes. "We really need it."