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(Sunday, November 7th)
Final Score: Cleveland 34, New England 14
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Colt McCoy threw for 174 yards on 14-of-19 passing and also turned in a rushing score as Cleveland posted an unexpected rout over New England, 34-14, at Browns Stadium.
Peyton Hillis ran for a career-best 184 yards and two scores on 29 carries for the Browns (3-5), who have won two in a row sandwiched around a bye week, and helped head coach Eric Mangini gain a measure of revenge against the team which employed him as a defensive coach from 2000-05.
"It's special. It's special because of my guys," Mangini said when asked if he held any special significance in beating one of his former teams. "It's a good group of guys who work hard."
Chansi Stuckey added an 11-yard TD rush and Phil Dawson kicked two field goals for Cleveland, which snapped a four-game losing streak to New England stretching back to November 12, 2000.
Tom Brady completed 19-of-36 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Aaron Hernandez for the Patriots (6-2), who hadn't tasted defeat since a Week 2 loss on the road against the New York Jets.
Hernandez wound up with 48 yards on five receptions and Danny Woodhead was limited to 54 yards on nine carries for New England, which travels to Pittsburgh next Sunday night.
"Obviously they did everything better than we did, every single thing you could measure," noted Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "We've got a lot of work to do. Pick any subject you want we didn't do what we wanted to."
McCoy put the Browns ahead 24-7 with 5:53 to play in the third quarter, as his bolt for the left pylon from 16 yards out was upheld by a lengthy review.
The rookie signal-caller then orchestrated a 13-play, 61-yard march which bridged the third and fourth periods and ended on a 37-yard field goal from Dawson.
The visitors earned a reprieve on their next series, as a defensive pass interference call on a 4th-and-10 gave them possession at the Browns' one. Brady hit Hernandez two plays later, cutting the Patriots' deficit to 27-14 with 6:37 remaining.
However, Hillis broke to the outside and rolled into the end zone for a 35- yard score with 2:38 to play and the Browns extended their advantage to 34-14.
Brian Hoyer was under center for the Patriots' next drive but was picked off by Eric Wright on the second play of the series. Cleveland didn't advance the ball and a punt pinned New England in the shadow of its own goal line in the final seconds.
"The will to win is something we talked about a lot. First, you learn how to compete, then you learn how to win, and then you learn how to win consistently," Mangini said about his philosophy in trying to turn around the franchise. "So my expectations are that we continue to learn how to win consistently. That's important to keep in step as a team."
Cleveland's initial drive of the contest resulted in a Dawson 38-yard field goal, then after Pats returner Sammy Morris muffed the kickoff, the Browns were set up on the New England 19-yard line.
Evan Moore made a leaping catch at the right sideline for 17 yards on first down, then Hillis rumbled up the middle for a two-yard score and 10-0 advantage.
Hillis, though, coughed up the ball on the Browns' ensuing drive but the Pats failed to make any headway.
New England did pick up its first points of the day when Hernandez hauled in a tipped pass at the back of the end zone and got both feet in before falling out of bounds. It capped an 11-play, 79-yard drive with 8:43 left in the half.
Stuckey's 11-yard run to paydirt on the ensuing possession put the Browns up 17-7, and the Patriots fumbled away a chance at points in the final seconds of the half when tight end Rob Gronkowski had the ball stripped away near the goal line.
"We didn't play well. We had to take advantage of scoring opportunities, gotta convert on third down, and gotta hold on to the football," added Brady. "Collectively, we have to perform better with our backs against the wall."
Cleveland outgained the visitors by a 404-283 count and limited New England to 68 yards rushing...Patriots kicked Stephen Gostkowski left the game in the second quarter with a thigh injury and did not return...New England had also taken six of the last seven meetings with Cleveland dating back to 1995...Patriots guard Logan Mankins was in the starting lineup for the first time since resolving a contract dispute. He was added to the active roster on Saturday...The Browns host the Jets next Sunday.
11/07 18:22:00 ET
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