How Rhamondre Stevenson Made Unique History With TD Vs. Browns

This was a savvy play call by the Patriots


Oct 16, 2022

Facing a critical third-and-long situation late in the first half of Sunday’s game at FirstEnergy Stadium, the Patriots were rewarded for going against the grain.

Standing at Cleveland’s 31-yard-line with 3:30 left in the second quarter and the game tied 3-3, New England needed 10 yards to both gain a first down and inch closer to the red zone. Conventional knowledge tells an NFL team to take to the air in that situation, but the Patriots instead went with a shotgun handoff to Rhamondre Stevenson. The call proved to be the right one, as the sophomore running back blew through the line of scrimmage, evaded Browns cornerback Martin Emerson Jr. and capped off the long run with a touchdown to give the visitors a touchdown lead.

It’s tough to imagine Stevenson knew he made history of sorts when he dashed to paydirt in Northeast Ohio. But as Patriots reporter Mike Reiss pointed out on Twitter, citing ESPN Stats & Info, the 31-yard scamper marked New England’s first touchdown on a situation of third-and-10 or longer in the Bill Belichick era. Stevenson’s rushing TD also was only the second of that variety this season.

The Patriots took a 10-6 lead over the Browns into halftime of the teams’ Week 6 matchup.

Thumbnail photo via Scott Galvin/USA TODAY Images
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady
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