It's close to game time as the Patriots and Browns get ready to square off in Cleveland. Let's take a look at the Patriots inactives:
DT Vincent Valentine, RB Brandon Bolden, LB Shea McClellin, TE Greg Scruggs, CB Justin Coleman, CB Eric Rowe, T Marcus Cannon
13:41- Three & out for the Browns and Tom Brady leads the offense on to the field. Finally.
10:45- With the return of Brady comes the return of Rob Gronkowski in the passing game. Gronk with a huge catch-and-run on 3rd & 8 sets the Patriots up at the Browns one-yard line.
10:28- Touchdown, Patriots!! Blount takes it in from one-yard out and the Patriots drive down the field with ease on Tom Brady's first series of 2016. I think I just felt 31 teams shudder after that drive. Martellus Bennett was hurt on the drive, but it appears that he avoided a bad injury. We'll keep you updated. Patriots 7, Browns 0
8:50- Ridiculous call on Malcom Brown. That is NEVER called, but it is when New England is playing. How about calling a hold on offense considering it happens every play. NFL refs are a joke.
6:26- There is a reason the Patriots defense stinks on 3rd down, and it's because the have ZERO pass rush. They need to start blitzing and playing man-to-man.
6:09- Touchdown, Browns. Thanks to the refs giving them a gift after a 3rd down stop, the Patriots defense turns back into what they've been for three weeks- garbage. Patriots 7, Browns 7
2:06- Touchdown, Patriots!! Tom Brady hits Martellus Bennett from five yards out for his first touchdown of the season. Brady looks like he never missed a snap and the Patriots offense is humming. Let's see if the defense can wake up and help the offense out; this is starting too like like the pre-Revis days in the secondary, but the main cause is the lack of a pass rush. Get a push!! Patriots 14, Browns 7
1:20- Safety, Patriots!! Dont'a Hightower came through untouched and crushed Cody Kessler as he threw, the ball went backwards and went out the end of the end zone for the safety. Kessler was injured on the play. New England will also receive the ball. Patriots 16, Browns 7
:25- Another 1st down for the Patriots and they are driving again. Time is now expiring on the 1st quarter, and New England has to be happy with the way they've played offensively. Patriots 16, Browns 7
15:00- Brady hits Hogan for a huge gain and the Patriots are once again at the Cleveland five.
12:10- Touchdown, Patriots!! Bennett catches another one from Brady and the Patriots lead is extended to 16. This offense looks terrific and they haven't played together for a full half yet. Every opponent on the Patriots schedule should be petrified. Patriots 23, Browns 7
9:20- New England FINALLY gets off the field on 3rd down and Brady will get another chance to lead the Patriots offense on a drive.
7:43- Brady hits Hogan for a huge gain and the Patriots are once again setup at the Browns three.
6:50- Instead of doing the smart thing and taking the points, which would have made this a three-score game, the Patriots go for it and get stuffed on an awful play-call by Josh McDaniels. Why run a stretch-run play with a back like Blount? If you are going for it there, how about play-action and looking for your monstrous tight ends? Dumb. Cleveland takes over at their own two.
5:06- If the Patriots can wake up their pass defense, this game will get ugly. The run defense has been excellent.
5:00- Jabaal Sheard makes the tackle on a scrambling Charlie Whitehurst and the Patriots pick up another stop on 3rd down, this one being big after getting shut down at the goal line.
3:18- The Browns defense is gaining some confidence, and after that three-&-out, they give their offense another chance to tighten up this game. Patriots 23, Browns 7
2:01- Another stop for the Patriots defense, although the pass rush is still non-existent. They need to start stunting and blitzing because eventually Cleveland will start to get into a rhythm offensively.
1:22- New England is driving again and trying to pick up another score before the half. It appears they are trying their "score before the half and to start the second half" killer maneuver that typically ends games in a hurry.
:17- The Patriots are forced to attempt a field goal, and to no surprise Gostkowski missed it. He simply isn't that good this year, and if this continues, they'll start the process of finding a replacement. Kickers can lose it quick, especially when they develop the yips after a huge miss (see the extra point that cost them a chance to win the AFC Title last year.)
:00- Cleveland can't capitalize and the Patriots will take their 16 point lead into the half. New England receives to start the second half. Patriots 23, Browns 7
15:00- New England will receive and try to put together a scoring drive to extend their lead to three score. Tom Brady was excellent in the first half, and now they can adjust to what Cleveland had working late in the 2nd quarter.
12:24- Touchdown, Patriots!! Bennett catches his third touchdown of the day and the Patriots extend their lead to 23. Bennett was wide open, as was Gronkowski, but Bennett was streaking towards the end zone and Brady hit him in stride. Big touchdown that will possibly break the Browns for the afternoon. Patriots 30, Browns 7
10:52- Cyrus Jones is thrown out of the game for taking a swing after a cheap cut block attempt. I don't knock Jones there, that was dirty. Belchick will be PO'ed now, but when he sees the film he'll understand.
8:04- Interception, Patriots! Patrick Chung with the interception and the Patriots offense will take over their own 34.
8:02- Holding on 1st down will put the Patriots in a 1st & 20 situation.
7:55- James White with a nice catch out of the backfield makes 3rd down more manageable.
7:18- Brady was trying to escape pressure but he was tripped up by a Cleveland defender and the Patriots are forced three & out after the interception. Let's see if the defense can make another play.
5:55- Three & out for the Browns again; they are hurting at quarterback and having an awfully tough time getting anything going on offense. Julian Edelman loses yards on the punt return, but the offense takes over. Edelman is obviously a better receiver now than he was when he was younger, but his explosiveness on punt return is gone since the foot injury.
4:27- Brady runs for a 1st down and gives the first down salute on the Browns sideline. That will anger the Browns and many Brady haters, but his teammates and fans will love it.
3:01- That'll probably be the end of the day for Chris Hogan as he gets wrecked on an end around. He was hit low, landed on his head, neck, and shoulders, and another Brown came flying in at the end to add insult to injury. Someone on New England needs to lay out a Brown because they are trying to hurt people (see- Cyrus Jones, Chris Hogan.)
2:38- New England can't convert on 3rd down and are forced to punt. Since the first drive of the half, the offense has looked stagnant.
:00- The 3rd quarter has come to an end and the Patriots lead by 23. Cleveland is driving, but they need to score quick if they have any chance of coming back. Patriots 30, Browns 7
14:05- Touchdown, Browns. Whitehurst tosses it up and Hamlett went up and made the great play for the touchdown. The Browns went for two but Malcolm Butler broke up the pass, keeping this a three-score game. Patriots 30, Browns 12
11:09- Brady hits Gronkowski for a 37-yard gain, adding more yards to the ridiculous total he and Bennett have put up today. These two are ridiculous together.
8:00- The Patriots drive down to the 10 but are forced into the field goal attempt, and this time Gostkowski knocked it through. It might not be a bad thing that he got another chance today because New England needs him to get his confidence back. Patriots 33, Browns 13
6:02- New England stuffs the Cleveland offense; Brady and the offense will take the field again, and most likely look to establish the run to kill the clock and end this game. Patriots 33, 13
5:53- Garoppolo comes in for Brady with under six minutes to go, which I'm sure Brady hates. New England ran on first and second down but are facing a 3rd and 8.
5:16- Foolish play-call by McDaniels; why throw when your up 20 with just over five minutes left? Run it and either force the Browns to call a timeout or run 40 seconds off the clock.
3:42- The Browns are facing a 4th & 3 and will be forced to go for it.
3:35- Turnover on downs for the Browns and New England will take over at their 48.
3:14- First down, Patriots, and the clock is continuing to run. The Browns are out of timeouts so if New England picks up one more 1st down, they can down it and end this blowout.
1:17- New England takes a knee and the clock is ticking down to the end.
:00- The Patriots dominate the Browns in Cleveland and the return of Tom Brady is a smashing success.
FINAL SCORE: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 33, CLEVELAND BROWNS 13
Thank you for joining us this week and be sure to come back to the site later to listen to my recap podcast for Locked On Patriots. Be sure to join us next week too when the Patriots battle the Bengals on Sunday afternoon.
Follow me @ chris_simoneau