Peyton Hillis ran for a career high 184 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Cleveland Browns to a 34-14 victory over the Patriots today at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
The Browns jumped on top 10-0 before the Patriots even had the ball when they took the opening kickoff and drove for a field goal, then gained possession right away on a muffed kickoff by the Patriots and Hillis punched it in.
It was the second big win in as many games for the Browns, who beat the defending Super Bowl champion Saints two weeks ago.
4th quarter, 2:00, Browns 34-14: Brian Hoyer is in at QB for Patriots.
Hoyer promptly throws an interception, Browns coach Eric Mangini has been given the Gatorade shower, and this is just about finished.
4th quarter, 2:38, Browns 34-14: Peyton Hillis rips off a 35-yard TD run to seal this. Six plays cover 60 yards and eat up 3:59 of clock.
Hillis has 28 carries for a career-high 181 yards.
4th quarter, 3:48, Browns 27-14: Peyton Hillis continues to chew up yards on the ground, and Patriots can’t do much to stop him.
4th quarter, 6:37, Browns 27-14: Tom Brady finds Aaron Hernandez on a 2-yard TD pass, and Wes Welker adds the extra point. Caps a 14-play, 69-yard drive.
Welker kicking isn’t as strage as it sounds. He kicked a PAT and field goal against the Patriots in 2004 when he played for the Dolphins.
Welker is also doing the kickoff.
4th quarter, 10:45, Browns 27-7: Phil Dawson kicks a 37-yard field goal.
End 3d quarter, Browns 24-7: Patriots LB Jerod Mayo is getting beaten repeatedly this drive on passes to Peyton Hillis, who also has 110 yards rushing. Browns on the move. one more score could put this away.
Browns are dominating time of possession, holding a 10-minute advantage. Long day for Patriots’ defense.
3d quarter, 3:43, Browns 24-7: On third-and-12, Brandon Tate can’t hang on, and the Patriots are stumped again. Really bad day for TE Rob Gronkowski, who added a holding penalty on that drive to his list of miscues.
3d quarter, 5:53, Browns 24-7: The play stands. Patriots lose a timeout. Phil Dawson kicks PAT.
3d quarter, 5:53, Browns 23-7: Browns QB Colt McCoy scrambles 16 yards for a touchdown, sprung free by a crucial block by Browns WR Josh Cribbs on Patriots S Brandon Meriweather. Play is under review, challenged by Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
3d quarter, 12:53, Browns 17-7: Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez unable to come down with catch on 3d-and-15, so Patriots punt and Browns take over at own 28. Kyle Arrington back on field for Patriots’ defense.
Halftime: Browns 17-7: The Patriots got back in gear and looked considerably better in the second quarter, but shot themselves in the foot with a critical fumble as they approached the end zone. As poorly as the Patriots played the first quarter, they came to life in the second and are certainly not out of this.
Key things to watch in the second half will be who kicks for the Patriots, both kickoffs and field goals/extra points, as well as whether Kyle Arrington returns. PK Stephen Gostkowski is wearing a hat on the sideline, and could be seen pointing to his right thigh as he spoke with teammates, as though explaining his injury.
2d quarter, :22, Browns 17-7: Rob Gronkowski fumbled on the goal line and Browns’ Abram Elam recovered.
2d quarter, 3:23, Browns 17-7: Browns touchdown by Chansi Stuckey, an 11-yard trick play run. Josh Cribbs took the snapped, slipped the ball to Stuckey, then rolled out. Stuckey delayed a moment, then swept to the left. Patriots CB Kyle Arrington injured on the play, and appears to be limping badly.
2d quarter, 3:36, Browns 10-7: Press box announcement: Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski has a thigh injury, his return is questionable.
2d quarter, 8:36, Browns 10-7: Interesting sight on Patriots sideline. Punter Zoltan Mesko is practicing kickoffs, and WR Wes Welker is practicing field goals. No word on what may be wrong with PK Stephen Gostkowski, but his last kickoff was squibbed up the middle.
2d quarter, 8:43, Browns 10-7: Using a no-huddle formation for much of the drive, Patriots finally score when Brady’s pass is tipped in the front of the end zone by TE Rob Gronkowski and TE Aaron Hernandez caught it in the back of the end zone. Patriots looked much better, and converted on third down and also a fourth down.
End 1st quarter, Browns 10-0: Nothing is going right for the Patriots. Rob Gronkowski has dropped three passes, the defensive line can’t stop the Browns’ Peyton Hillis, who already has 63 yards rushing, and the Patriots have only one first down.
1st quarter, 1:24, Browns 10-0: Browns punt, Patriots fair catch at their own 10. Browns have a 130-16 edge in total yardage right now.
1st quarter, 5:17, Browns 10-0: Patriots offense not exactly clicking. QB Tom Brady couldn’t connect with Danny Woodhead on third down, so Patriots were forced to punt. Browns take over on own 20 after touchback.
1st quarter, 7:50, Browns 10-0: Patriots CB Devin McCourty stripped Browns RB Peyton Hillis after a 16-yard run, and Brandon Meriweather recovered it. Patriots begin at own 30.
1st quarter, 8:00, Browns 10-0: Browns gamble on 4th-and-1 pays off when McCoy sneaks for 3 yards after changing the play at the line of scrimmage and getting the Patriots to think it was all a ruse to draw them offside.
Patriots C Dan Koppen has left the field. He ran off toward the locker room.
1st quarter, 10:08, Browns 10-0: Browns have ball again as Patriots go three-and-out. TE Rob Gronkowski dropped a pair of passes, although on third down, the pass was behind him. Browns start on own 27.
1st quarter, 10:49, Browns 10-0: Logan Mankins did indeed start for the Patriots at LG. Patriots offense finally on the field.
1st quarter, 11:11, Browns 10-0: The Browns recovered a muffed kickoff, then took only two plays to punch it in, with Peyton Hillis plunging in from two yards out. A 17-yard pass from Colt McCoy to Evan Moore set up the Browns on the goal line.
1st quarter, 11:49, Browns 3-0: Phil Dawson’s 38 yard field capped a six-play, 42-yard drive. The highlight of the drive, set up by Josh Cribbs’ excellent kickoff return, was Browns RB Peyton Hillis hurdling James Sanders during an 18-yard gain.
Cleveland won the coin toss and has elected to receive.
It’s clear but cold (43 degrees) at Cleveland Browns Stadium, with kickoff a short time away. The Patriots are in their road white jerseys, and the Browns are wearing their brown jerseys with white pants with the orange stripe. We’ll bring you game updates throughout today’s game.
Colt McCoy is the Browns’ starter at QB, and Brett Ratliff is his only backup because both Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme are inactive for the Browns. If both McCoy and Ratiff were injured in this game, look for Josh Cribbs, who played quarterback at Kent State, to take the snaps, possibly in a wildcat formation.