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RECAP: New England Patriots thump banged-up Cleveland Browns, 45-7

Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a season-best 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns to help the New England Patriots rout the visiting Cleveland Browns 45-7 on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.

The rookie running back carried the ball 20 times in just his sixth game of the season for the Patriots (6-4). New England has won five of its past six games with the lone defeat being a 35-29 overtime loss to Dallas on Oct. 17.

Mac Jones completed 19 of 23 pass attempts for 198 yards and three touchdowns for the Patriots.

It marked Jones’ first NFL game with three passing touchdowns and the rookie quarterback’s first time doing so since tossing five TDs in Alabama’s 52-24 rout of Ohio State in last year’s College Football Playoff championship.

Cleveland lost starting quarterback Baker Mayfield to a right knee injury suffered on a hit by Patriots linebacker Matt Judon late in the third quarter. Backup Case Keenum replaced Mayfield and was 8-of-12 passing for 81 yards.

Mayfield finished 11-of-21 passing for a career-worst 73 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

The Browns were already without star running back Nick Chubb, who along with back Demetric Felton tested positive for COVID-19 last week. D’Ernest Johnson was Cleveland’s lone healthy back and rushed for 99 yards on 19 carries while catching seven passes for 58 yards.

It was the Browns’ seventh consecutive loss to the Patriots in Foxborough, Mass. Cleveland’s last road victory over the Patriots came on Oct. 25, 1992, when then second-year Browns coach Bill Belichick guided the team to a 19-17 victory.

On Sunday, Cleveland scored first on Mayfield’s 2-yard TD pass to Austin Hooper nearly five minutes into the game.

The Patriots led 24-7 at halftime after scoring 17 in the second quarter. New England capped the scoring late in the fourth on backup QB Brian Hoyer’s 11-yard pass to Jakobi Meyers for the third-year receiver’s first career touchdown.

On the play, Browns cornerback Troy Hill suffered a neck injury attempting to tackle Meyers and was stretchered off the field. Hill was transported to a nearby hospital for further evaluation.

–Field Level Media