The turning point play for the Patriots this past Sunday was provided by Kyle Dugger.
After New England and Cleveland swapped methodical touchdown drives to open the Week 10 contest, Dugger intercepted Baker Mayfield on the Browns’ second possession and returned it deep into the visitors’ territory. The Patriots proceeded to double their lead and never looked back en route to a 45-7 triumph at Gillette Stadium.
The pick hardly was Dugger’s lone highlight in New England’s fourth consecutive win, however. The second-year safety racked up eight tackles (seven solo) and also delivered some bone-rattling hits. For these reasons, Dugger was Mike Florio’s latest defensive player of the week.
“Kyle Dugger, second season, great job so far for him,” Florio said Tuesday on NBC Sports. “Leading the team in tackles, he had the interception of Baker Mayfield that really helped break open the game that was 7-7. When you see a final score like 45-7, you think it was 31-0 and then there was a touchdown some time in garbage time. No, the Browns were up 7-0. They went right down the field to start the game. Then the Patriots score, Dugger makes this interception, returns it to the 5. Rhamondre Stevenson scores a couple of plays later and that was that, off to the races went the New England Patriots.
“Great player, and the Patriots are becoming a great team and a team that I think is going to be hanging around deep into January and maybe — just maybe — we’re gonna see them in LA in February.”
Dugger will try to add another solid performance to his sophomore campaign Thursday when the Patriots visit the Atlanta Falcons.