Game Balls & Goats: Patriots - Browns

The New England Patriots held off the Cleveland Browns on Sunday with the help of 4 turnovers. Not everything went the way it should have for New England, yet they were able to cruise to an easy victory late after a strong first half. Get those game balls and goats in for the Patriots 34 - 17 win over Cleveland

Here are Patriots Insider's Game Balls and Goats:


Game Balls:

Ben Watson: Solid outing from Watson who was able to get open for a pair of scores.  Watson used his quickness to beat the defender on each of his scores. The first was a bit easier than the second but Watson's speed was the key for both plays.  Watson finished the day with 6 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

Sammy Morris: Following his first 100-yard game in a Patriots uniform last week, Morris turned in his second this week.  Morris managed 21 carries for 102 yards Morris' most important carry came after the Browns closed the score to just 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter.  Morris took the Ball from Brady on a fourth and 1, followed his block, and leapt over a defender's outstretched arms to gain the first.  Brady connected with Watson on the very next play to get back to a 17-point lead.

Tip Drill: The Patriots managed three interceptions of Derek Anderson to turn the game completely around.  The interceptions didn't come easily though as the first two were tipped balls from one Patriots defender to another; Asante Samuel to Junior Seau on the first one and Adalius Thomas to Samuel for the second.  Junior Seau. Seau notched the third.  While Seau deserves credit for having a multi-interception game, we'd prefer to credit the tip drill.



Offensive Execution: The Patriots were abysmal on third down and Red Zone offensive production.  Despite turning in a score of over 30 points (27 on offense) New England went 2 for 12 (16%) on third downs.  They entered the game with the best conversion percentage on third down at 51%.  Red Zone production was also down.  Some of this can be attributed to play calling, or what the Browns were doing on defense, but execution appeared to fall apart when the Patriots were in scoring position.  New England went 1 for 5 inside the 20, although they did add a Stephen Gostkowski field goal in the first half.

Derek Anderson: It's understandable why the Browns lost.  Twice they had an opportunity to score on New England to make the game a 1 score game, and both times Anderson threw the ball into a crowd resulting in tipped balls and interceptions.  While Anderson fared well late, his early gaffes ruined any chance for the Browns to take advantage of the Patriots' struggles.

Oddsmakers: If it weren't for a good play by Randall Gay to strip KellenWinslow of the ball, and return the fumble for a touchdown, Cleveland would actually have kept the game within 10 points.  At 16 ½ favorites, the oddsmakers mush have been holding their breath when New England gave up a late score to get back to a 10-point game and almost gave up another after the Gay touchdown.  Of course, they must also have been discounting the Browns ability score quickly against a highly touted, but slightly over-hyped Patriots defense.

Honorable mention:

Mike Vrabel: Not sure why he was messing around at the end of the game nearly starting a fight on the last series of downs.


Fans are encouraged to share their thoughts on the game by sending in their own Game Balls and Goats.  Name up to three of each.  Honorable mentions allowed.

Game Balls are for good things, Goats are for bad things.

Send in your Own Game Balls and Goats Here



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