Most people will look at this game and expect a Patriots blowout, that is not going to happen. If you have not noticed the Patriots like to play down to their opponent, for example last week in Houston. Do I expect the Patriots to win? Absolutely. But it will be a closer game than people expect for these following reasons:
Jason Campbell returns to the field this week after suffering a concussion against the Steelers a few weeks back. He has proven this year that he is a capable quarterback. Josh Gordon has over 200 receiving yards in his past 2 games, with Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball. With Campbell back and Gordon on fire, this could be a match up nightmare for a banged up Patriots Secondary and for a banged up Aqib Talib.
The Patriots have struggled against opposing Tight Ends this season, so keep an eye on TE Jordan Cameron for the Browns as he could also be poised for a big game.
Although the Browns let Chad Henne and the Jaguars drive 80 yards down the field on their final drive of the game and win I still think this is a strong defense. They still have one of the leagues top corner backs in Joe Haden.
The Browns cannot run the ball at all, which is great news for the Patriots Defense. Willis McGahee is only averaging a 2.8 yards per rush attempt, which is poor to say the least. This is good news because the Patriots let up 102 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground to Ben Tate last week and 224 yards to Knoshown Moreno the week before.
Ridley is expected to be active today which will be interesting to watch. If he fumbles today I would think his future in New England will be in jeopardy. But I think he will push the doubters aside and have a huge game.
At the end of the day the Patriots will put up points on this Browns Defense, it is a matter of the Patriots being able to stop this Browns offense, which is something most teams have been able to do this year. This will be a real good measuring stick to see where this defense is truly at. If the Patriots give up a lot of points today, which is something I find very plausible, then yikes we may have a problem. All of that being said, I like the Patriots 31-24 over the Browns.