The Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots come into Week 6 with matching 2-3 records. For the Patriots, figuring out how to replace offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels this offseason has been a huge storyline. Former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and former special teams coordinator Joe Judge, both failed head coaches elsewhere, have taken over that side of the ball.
The early returns were not great as the offense scored a combined 24 points in their first two games. It has quickly picked up for New England as they scored 50 points in their next two games, despite losing both, then 29 points in their blowout victory over the Detroit Lions despite playing with their third-string quarterback.
According to their lead running back, Rhamondre Stevenson, the team has found its identity on offense:
“We ran a lot of gap scheme,” said Stevenson of the hat-on-hat blocking looks the Patriots are working with now. “And I just love running downhill behind those big boys. That’s what we did.”
While the Browns struggle to stop the run game after game, the Patriots have leaned on their rushing attack to create big plays and control the game.
Through five weeks, the group has almost 700 yards on the ground with a solid 4.6 yards per carry clip. New England has rushed for 145 yards or more in their last three games and is just moving people around with power from their offensive line:
Pats run game is on fire right now. Teams know they’re running it in their face and it doesn’t matter pic.twitter.com/ppJBFl6Mf2— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) October 12, 2022
It will be strength versus weakness in Week 6. The Patriots don’t have to make any adjustments to their new offensive identity while the Browns need to find some kind of answers very quickly.