Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo said the New England defense was confident in its ability to stop the run. But Browns running back Peyton Hillis trampled right over it Sunday for a career-high 184 yards and two touchdowns.
"It was an awakening," Mayo said. "Today was disappointing, but at the same time, if we can learn something from this, then it was worth it."
It was the first time this season the Patriots have allowed a runner to gain 100 yards.
"He just came out with their offensive line and did a great job and ran the ball hard," Mayo said.
The last running back to gain more than 100 yards against the Patriots was Arian Foster of the Texans in the final game of the regular season.