Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Patriots-Browns matchup of the day: Friday

About the Author

Recent posts by Mike Wilkening

Underdogs have made some noise in title round

Posted Jan. 14, 2013 @ 2:36 p.m.

What's next for Browns' offense?

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 9:59 p.m.

Running back a need for Lions

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 9:52 p.m.

Divisional round handicapping column

Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 4:05 p.m.

Related Stories

Browns strike early, sign Kruger

Posted March 12, 2013 @ 5:23 p.m.

New England Patriots: 2013 team needs

Posted March 08, 2013 @ 5:58 p.m.

Cleveland Browns: 2013 team needs

Posted March 07, 2013 @ 1 p.m.

Browns hire Farmer as assistant GM

Posted March 06, 2013 @ 11:01 a.m.

With Brady deal, Pats again a step ahead

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

Patriots sign Brady to extension through 2017

Posted Feb. 26, 2013 @ 10:42 a.m.

Chudzinski offers little on Browns' QB situation

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 11:22 a.m.

Report: Patriots OT Vollmer has knee scope

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 10:09 a.m.

Patriots sign former CFL DL Vega

Posted Feb. 19, 2013 @ 11:07 a.m.
Posted Nov. 05, 2010 @ 5:10 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Here's a closer look at a matchup to watch in Sunday's Patriots-Browns game:

Patriots running game vs. Browns run defense

When you think of the Patriots' offense, the passing of QB Tom Brady could come to mind first, but New England has a fairly productive running game, too. The Patriots are gaining 112.7 rushing yards per game, good for 14th in the NFL. They are gaining 4.2 yards per carry, which ranks in the upper half of the league.

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis has received the most carries for New England in five of the last six games. He racked up a career-high 112 yards on 17 carries against Minnesota's stout defense in Week Eight, scoring twice. On his 13-yard TD run, the 5-11, 215-pound Green-Ellis ran off left edge and got a key block from ORG Stephen Neal, who pulled to his left. Late in the game, Green-Ellis burst around the left corner for 26 yards.

The quick Danny Woodhead is likely to get a handful of carries in relief of Green-Ellis and contributes in the passing game, too. He's caught 13 passes over his last three games.

The Browns' run defense has been respectable, allowing just 3.9 yards per carry. They are stout up the middle, with NT Ahtyba Rubin having his finest season to date. He's supplanted Shaun Rogers, who is questionable with an ankle injury. If he plays, Rogers could see time both in the middle and at end. He was exceptional playing the nose, especially in passing situations, in the Browns' upset of the Saints two weeks ago.

If Green-Ellis or Woodhead can get to the second level, there could be chances for sizeable gains. The Browns, who don't have an especially fast defense, have allowed seven rushes of 20 yards or more.


Comments ()