FOXBORO, Mass. — The Patriots delivered a statement to the rest of the AFC on Sunday.
New England dominated Cleveland, earning a convincing 45-7 victory at Gillette Stadium. The Browns drove for a touchdown on their first drive of the Week 10 game, but Mac Jones and the Patriots responded with a score of their own and never looked back.
Jones completed 19 of 23 passes for 198 yards and three touchdown passes on the afternoon, while Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 11 of 21 passes for 73 yards, a touchdown and an interception before leaving in the third quarter with a knee injury. Case Keenum filled in for the rest of the game.
New England improved to 6-4 with the victory while Cleveland dropped to 5-5 with the loss.
Each week, we’ll give you three studs and three duds for the Patriots, no matter how hard it might be to fill either category.
Here’s the Week 10 edition:
Mac Jones, QB
Before the game, we talked about the possibility of Jones hitting the proverbial “rookie wall.” So much for that.
The rookie looked better than he has in weeks, carving up Cleveland’s defense from start to finish. His touchdown throw to Kendrick Bourne and third-quarter completion to Hunter Henry were two of his finest passes of the season. If Jones can continue to play like this, the Patriots will be an awfully dangerous team in the second half of the season.
Rhamondre Stevenson, RB
Stevenson didn’t practice all week after suffering a concussion last Sunday, but it didn’t matter. He followed up his best game as a professional with an even better performance, running 20 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns. He added 14 yards as a receiver. The rookie running back looks like a potential star in the making.
Deatrich Wise, DL
We could’ve given this to any one of the honorable mentions, but we went with Wise, who had one of his best games of the season.
Always better at rushing the passer than defending the run, Wise wreaked havoc in Cleveland’s backfield all afternoon, finishing with four combined tackles and 1 1/2 sacks. One of his many QB pressures resulted in an all-time soft roughing-the-passer penalty.
Honorable mentions: Hunter Henry; Kendrick Bourne; J.C. Jackson; Brandon Bolden; Kyle Dugger; Matthew Judon; Lawrence Guy
Isaiah Wynn, LET
Wynn wasn’t terrible, but had enough issues — allowed at least one sack; committed a hands-to-the-face penalty late in the first half — to warrant a spot in the “duds” section. He was better in the second half, though.
Jakobi Meyers, PR
Notice we didn’t list him as a wide receiver.
Meyers was good in the passing game — he even logged the first touchdown reception of his career — but for the second straight week was a total non-factor as a punt returner. The third-year pro looks nervous while fielding punts and might be a turnover waiting to happen. Gunner Olszewski, who missed this game due to a concussion, can’t come back soon enough.
J.J. Taylor, RB
Wasn’t asked to do much and didn’t do anything with the opportunities he got. Still waiting for Taylor, who has a ton of talent, to make an impact this season. It might not happen if Brandon Bolden keeps playing as well as he has.
Honorable mentions: None