According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Cleveland Browns are 2.5 point favorites against the New England Patriots on Sunday. Here is what the national media is saying about the Week 6 game between the Patriots and Browns:
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Browns 27, Patriots 26
There is a chance Mac Jones could be back at quarterback for the Patriots. If not, it’s Bailey Zappe again. The way the Browns defense is playing, it might not matter. Cleveland will use its running attack again to move the football, but the New England defense is coming off a shutout. I think the Patriots will stay close in this game — no matter who plays quarterback.
CBS Sports (John Breech) - Patriots 22, Browns 20
The last time these two teams played each other came last season when the Patriots embarrassed the Browns 45-7, which I guess shouldn’t have been that surprising, because at this point in his life, I’m pretty sure that embarrassing the Browns is one of only about five things that Belichick actually still gets joy out of.
On paper, I feel like the Browns have the better team, but I feel like the Patriots have the coaching advantage and I also feel like Belichick has had half his coaching staff breaking down Browns film for the past five months just so he can embarrass them again. Belichick’s specialty is taking away what his opponent does best, and this week, I’m thinking that means he’s going to do everything possible to shut down Nick Chubb, which will put a lot of pressure on Jacoby Brissett.
I think the Patriots are going to go all-in to stop the run: They’re not going to let Cleveland’s best offensive player (Chubb) beat them, which means if the Browns are going to win, Brissett’s going to have to dice up the Patriots defense, which isn’t great news for the Browns, because Brissett isn’t the type of guy who can dice up a defense. He’s averaging just 212 yards per game through the air this year and he’s thrown at least one interception in three of Cleveland’s past four games (The Browns have lost all three games where he’s thrown an interception). It also doesn’t help the Browns that Belichick knows Brissett pretty well since he coached the quarterback during his rookie year in the NFL. Part of me wants to take the Browns here, but that’s not the part of me that’s in charge of making football picks, so I’m taking the Patriots.
Sporting News (Vinnie Iyer) - Patriots 23, Browns 16
This Bill Belichick revenge game where he started his NFL head-coaching career in Cleveland will show up by the Patriots red-hot defense containing Nick Chubb in the running game knowing the Browns have real limitations with ex-Patriot Jacoby Brissett and the passing game. Whoever the Patriots start at QB will get more great support from Rhamondre Stevenson and the running game.
Sporting News (Bill Bender) - Browns 26, Patriots 22
New England beat Cleveland 45-7 in the teams’ last meeting on Nov. 14, 2021, and they did it with Mac Jones and Rhamondre Stevenson. Will Jones be back from an ankle injury, or will the Bailey Zappe experience continue? Former Patriots quarterback Jacoby Brissett will give Cleveland a chance to win against an average New England run defense (128.8 ypg.). The Browns have lost three games by a combined total of six points. Can they finish one at home?
Below are our Week 6 NFL staff picks: