Sun Oct 27 8:45pm ET
By KYLE HIGHTOWER
AP Sports Writer
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick leaves the field after the Patriots defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-13 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. It was Belichick's 300th victory as an NFL head coach. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield walks on the sideline in the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, rolls out to pass under pressure from Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick watches from the sideline late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady rolls out to pass for a touchdown to Julian Edelman in the second half of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) Tom Brady threw for 259 yards and two touchdown passes and Bill Belichick earned his 300th career NFL coaching victory in the Patriots' 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Belichick sits behind only Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) on the NFL's all-time win list.
The Patriots improved to 8-0 for the third time in team history and the first time since 2015, when they started 10-0. The Browns have lost three straight games.
Brady completed 20 of 36 passes, hitting Julian Edelman on eight of them for 78 yards and both TDs.
New England capitalized on three first-quarter turnovers by Cleveland to take a 17-0 lead. Running back Nick Chubb had back-to-back fumbles and quarterback Baker Mayfield had an interception.
The Browns did trim New England's lead to 17-10 early in the third quarter. But the Patriots struck right back on their next possession, using a 59-yard completion from Brady to James White to help set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Edelman.
Chubb ran for 131 yards, and Mayfield finished 20 of 31 for 194 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots have now won 21 straight games against first- or second-year signal callers, the longest such streak in NFL history.
Cleveland's first-quarter turnovers came on three consecutive plays.
After the Patriots took a 3-0 lead, Chubb took a handoff from Mayfield but had the ball inadvertently kicked out of his hands by left guard Joel Bitonio . It was scooped up by Dont'a Hightower and returned 26 yards for a touchdown.
On the first play of the ensuing series after the Patriots' kickoff landed out of bounds, Chubb got the ball again, this time getting around the edge and scampering 44 yards down the sideline.
He appeared headed for a touchdown, but New England cornerback Jonathan Jones gave pursuit and hammered the ball from Chubb's hands on the Patriots 4. It was recovered by safety Devin McCourty.
Following a Patriots' punt, the Browns' next series ended when Lawrence Guy broke into the backfield and stepped in front of Mayfield's shovel pass attempt to Chubb on the Cleveland 16 for his first-career interception.
New England needed just two plays after the changeover for Brady to connect with Edelman for an 8-yard touchdown.
Cleveland finally found some traction in the second quarter on their sixth possession, capping a six-play, 54-yard drive with a 21-yard pass from Mayfield to Demetrius Harris.
The Browns made a handful of changes on both sides of the ball in hopes of ending a two-game losing streak to the Patriots.
On offense Justin McCray made his first-career start left tackle in place of Greg Robinson. Starting cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams returned to the lineup on defense after missing the past four games with hamstring injuries.
The Patriots tested both early on.
On New England's second drive of the game Phillip Dorsett beat Williams along the sideline and caught a 33-yard pass from Brady to get the Patriots into Browns territory.
But after the Patriots extended the drive by converting on a fourth-and-7 on the Browns 33, Ward nearly intercepted Brady's third-and-2 pass into the end zone intended for Dorsett. New England settled for a field goal.
Mayfield's TD pass to Harris in the second quarter ended a 71-0 scoring streak by the Patriots. They scored the final 21 points in their win over the Giants on Oct. 10 and then shut out the Jets 33-0 last week.
The Browns visit Denver. The Patriots are at Baltimore.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy, who hasn't had a touch since Week 15 and who was inactive for the AFC Championship against the Titans, said he's not ready to retire after this season. "Nah, I'm not ready to retire, yet," McCoy said. "I still can play. So, I'm not going to retire yet, but that day is coming. That day is definitely coming." The 31-year-old has taken a back seat to running backs Damien Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson down the stretch, and he's unlikely to have much of a role, if any, in the Super Bowl against the 49ers. Shady has become more of a mentor in the running back room than an on-field performer for fantasy owners.
San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (shoulder) said that he's been playing through a torn labrum in his right shoulder since the start of the 2018 season. "So I dislocated my shoulder last year," Kittle said Sunday on the Pardon My Take podcast, "and my labrum is completely torn. So I don't get surgery on it -- [The protective sleeve] basically helps me, so it doesn't hurt all the time." He didn't miss any games in 2018 and set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,377. Kittle said there's "no chance" he has surgery in the future. The 26-year-old has been quiet in the postseason with four catches for 35 yards in two games, but the Niners haven't really needed him with their ground game humming. That could change in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs on Feb. 2.
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt, who will be a free agent in March, emotionally admitted that he would fail a drug test to a police officer during a traffic stop recently. This was caught on video of the police officer's dash cam during the traffic stop. Hunt also admitted that the small amounts of marijuana found in the car were his, but the officer let Hunt off with just the speeding ticket. It remains to be seen if the NFL will consider a suspension for the 24-year-old from this incident. Hunt was released by the Chiefs during the 2018 season due to a domestic-violence incident, and he served a suspension before making his Browns debut in 2019. If he signs with another team this offseason and is given bell-cow duties in the backfield, Hunt could have RB1 upside.
The Los Angeles Chargers have "moved on from Philip Rivers," according to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer. Rivers is set to become a free agent in March, and the writing was on the wall when he recently moved his entire family from San Diego to Florida. Rivers will end a 16-year run with the Chargers, but it remains to be seen where he'll land on the free-agent market this offseason. The Buccaneers are a popular expected destination, but that'll only be if they move on from Jameis Winston. Rivers completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 2019 for a QB rating of 88.5. He might have a few more seasons left in him, but at 38 years old his arm strength is clearly deteriorating, and he'll probably be more of a QB2 in 2020, depending on where he winds up.
Baltimore Ravens defensive end Matthew Judon is a candidate to receive the team's franchise tag and could also be traded, according to league sources. The Ravens would like to bring Judon back in 2020, but they are also likely to listen to trade offers if another team shows interest. The Niners dealt a second-round pick to the Chiefs last year for defensive end Dee Ford, who then signed a five-year deal worth up to $87.5 million last March. The Chiefs also traded first- and third-round picks to the Seahawks last April for defensive end Frank Clark, who then signed a five-year, $105.5 million deal. Judon has emerged as a high-end pass rusher with at least seven sacks in each of the last three years. The 27-year-old had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2019 and was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was credited with a 61-yard interception return for touchdown at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle posted three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets for the AFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.
Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt posted an 82-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter for the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews ended up with a game-high nine receptions for an AFC-best 73 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. registered two grabs for 67 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter, for the AFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams ended up with a team-high six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.
Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper finished with three grabs for 24 yards and a touchdown on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 13-of-22 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas hauled in five receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown with a team-high eight targets at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.
Jacksonville Jaguars DE Calais Campbell had a solo tackle, a sack and a quarterback hit in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26, winning the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson completed 16-of-23 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, winning Offensive Most Valuable Player. He also ran twice for six yards in the 38-33 win.
Houston Texans impending free-agent TE Darren Fells is a player the Texans will try to re-sign this offseason, but he probably will receive interest from multiple teams in free agency.
Houston Texans impending free-agent QB AJ McCarron is a candidate to be re-signed this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Sarah Barshop.
New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), who is six weeks removed from groin/abdominal surgery, said he is jogging "a little bit" and is on track to take part in "spring football." Mosley has also started a vegan diet after playing in just two games last season because of his injury in his first year in New York. The 27-year-old should be ready for a full training camp heading into the 2020 season, and he should give Gang Green a steadying presence in the middle of the field next season. Mosley recorded 100-plus tackles in four of his five seasons in Baltimore before signing with the Jets in free agency last offseason.
Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who did not play at all in 2019, plans to play in 2020 after intentionally taking the season off to rest his body and mind. Berry was cut by the Chiefs in 2018 and has only played in three games since 2016 due to injuries and a bout with cancer. The former first-round pick in 2010 has 14 career interceptions and five touchdowns and could provide a team with a veteran presence in the secondary in 2020. However, it remains to be seen if any team will take a chance on the veteran moving forward. Berry is unlikely to be an asset in IDP leagues if he gets picked up by a team.