FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The question is simple today: How are you not ready to play in such an important game? In mid-November, coming in at 5-4, coming off your best performance of the year in Cincinnati?
The Browns are going to have to answer that today and every day this week, because they were not ready. They got dominated by the Patriots 45-7, and mind you, they took a 7-0 lead in the game. Do the math.
A rookie quarterback in Mac Jones took them apart: 19 for 23, three touchdowns, no interceptions, perfect throws, perfect decisions as New England went up and down the field. Defensively, the Browns (once again) had huge problems.
Take the Pats' opening drive of the game. Three different times the Browns have them in third-and-long, and they achieve what they needed to and get the first down. They go down and tie the game up, then come up with an interception off of Baker Mayfield, and the afternoon crumbled after that.
MYLES GARRETT: 'We didn't make any adjustments' vs. Patriots
You have to wonder a little bit about effort, both offensively and defensively. I understand there was no Nick Chubb today, but offensively, the only spark came from the guy who replaced him. D'Ernest Johnson had 99 yards rushing, gave then more than 100 yards total, and played a game like he always does: Exceeding 100% effort.
After that, it was a mess. Mayfield struggled, and went out with a right leg injury late in the ballgame. The offensive line was dominated, and the Patriots exposed the right tackle spot without Jack Conklin. Blake Hance had trouble all afternoon with Ja'Whaun Bentley and Matthew Judon.
The Pats are on a drive right now: four wins in a row to go to 6-4. On the other side, the Browns are hanging in the balance in a crowded AFC field at 5-5 with the Lions coming in next week, and they're kind of running out of time. We keep waiting for this winning streak that's going to get them going and send them off on their merry way to where they were last year in the playoffs. And yet, there are no concrete signs that, week-to-week, that is going to happen.
Hopefully, Nick Chubb will come back. Hopefully, Baker Mayfield's right leg is okay. But to their pride? Man, they were dented today.
Listen to Jimmy's calls from today's game: