Cleveland Browns 2022 opponent preview: New England Patriots

Browns, D'Ernest Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Browns, D'Ernest Johnson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cleveland Browns were embarrassed by the New England Patriots last season but could get revenge in Week 6 of the 2022 campaign

As we enter June, the Cleveland Browns are working toward the 2022 season as they continue to work through their OTAs.

They’re working in new players, new game plans, and figuring out who will make their 53-man roster. While that goes on, we continue to look ahead to the season with a preview of each opponent the Browns will face in 2022.

After a tough battle with the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 5, things don’t get any easier for Cleveland in Week 6 as they host the New England Patriots.

Patriots 2021 season

New England had their first losing season in roughly 20 years in 2020 and then started off slowly in 2021. They were 1-3 out of the gate but then turned things around. Rookie quarterback Mac Jones found his groove and the Pats won seven in a row from Week 7 through Week 13.

When all was said and done, they were 10-7 and while they didn’t win the AFC East, they were back in the playoffs. Unfortunately for them, they lost in a big way to their division champs, the Buffalo Bills.

Key offseason moves

The Patriots were incredibly quiet this offseason — which makes sense after how hard they hit the free agency market in 2021. Their biggest news was the loss of J.C. Jackson, who headed for Los Angeles to join the Chargers.

They did add a couple of familiar faces — at least familiar to Cleveland — as they picked up Jabrill Peppers and Terrance Mitchell, but neither were huge signings.

As for their moves in the 2022 NFL Draft, New England had one head-scratching pick after another, which started off by taking Cole Strange in Round 1 and included a risky pick in cornerback Jack Jones.

When do the teams meet?

The Patriots and Browns meet in Cleveland in Week 6 (Oct. 16). The game is set for 1:00 pm EST.

Last time the Cleveland Browns played New England

Cleveland headed to Gillette Stadium in Week 10 of the 2020 season. At the time, both teams were 5-4 but it felt as though the Browns were overlooking the Patriots because they came out and put up a touchdown early, then acted as though they could coast from there.

New England scored 45 unanswered and won 45-7 with Rhamondre Stevenson and Hunter Henry each scoring two touchdowns on the day.

Player to watch

New England really didn’t have an answer for anyone last year but the one who hurt them most was Stevenson who had 100 yards rushing as well as the two touchdowns. The problem is, zeroing in on him might not help since the Pats are excellent at switching things up and finding a weakness.

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Still, the key here will be to take the run game away and force Mac Jones to try and beat them.