TV Schedule: Sunday, Dec. 8, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Gillette Stadium
Weather: High 35, Low 30
Line: New England (-11.5)
Heading into the 2013 season, not many people believed that Tom Brady could work his magic like he had in years past and take a group of no-name receivers and make them solid targets and turn the New England Patriots into winners once again. However, Brady has done just that with his group led by Julian Edelman who leads the team in receiving yards, 711, and catches, 70. Brady leads the 10th-ranked passing offense with 3,267 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season while Rob Gronkowski has come back to help out big time, catching 37 passes for 560 yards and four touchdowns after missing six games. Stevan Ridley leads the 12th-ranked rushing attack with 576 yards and seven touchdowns on the year.
After climbing out of the league’s cellar, the Cleveland Browns have gone back into hibernation mode after losing five of their last six after a 3-3 start to the year. Shuffling through quarterbacks has been an issue for this team as Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden have been switching off in the past few weeks — although Campbell seems to be the best option. Weeden is completing just over 50 percent of his passes for 1,731 yards and nine touchdowns while Campbell has completed nearly 57 percent of his passes for 933 yards and six touchdowns with just three interceptions — opposed to Weeden’s nine interceptions. Despite mediocre QB play, Josh Gordon has been one of the best wide receivers in the NFL this season, catching 64 passes for 1,249 yards and seven touchdowns after two straight 200-yards receiving games.
Defensively, the Browns have had one of the best units in the league. Cleveland ranks fourth in total yards allowed and fifth in both passing yards and rushing yards given up. They do, however, rank just 19th in points allowed per contest. New England ranks 10th in points allowed while ranking 20th in total yards and 10th in passing yards. The Patriots have a hard time stopping the run, though, ranking 31st in the league in rush yards allowed.
PREDICTION: Browns 17, Patriots 31
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.