There isn’t a whole lot to be impressed with when it comes to the city of Cleveland. There’s even less when it comes to their sports teams.
The Patriots hope to give Clevelanders another reason not to want to get out of bed Monday morning when they visit old friend and former defensive coordinator Eric Mangini — now coach of the Browns — on Sunday.
While Cleveland sits at a not-so-surprising 2-5, their last win came against the defending champion Saints. With a bye last week, the Browns had extra time to get over the excitement of the big win and prepare for the Pats.
“Even though we haven’t played them in a while, I think we’re pretty familiar with what they do,” Tom Brady said. “We’re a little bit behind them in preparation as they had the off week, and I’m sure they’ve been working on us.
“They had a big win in New Orleans. That’s a very tough place to play, and I’m sure they have a lot of confidence playing us at home.”
The Patriots are 14-2 against the AFC North in the regular season since the division was founded in 2002. Both losses came to Pittsburgh.
They’re riding a four-game winning streak over the Browns, dating back to the 2001 season
But this is a much different Cleveland team.
With Mike Holmgren in the front office, the new-look Browns have shown more of a West Coast offense. Injuries gave rookie Colt McCoy the starting quarterback job, and he might keep it after a pair of impressive showings.
“He went into two tough situations playing in Pittsburgh and in New Orleans,” Bill Belichick said.
“He completed 70 percent of his passes; had a great win down there in New Orleans.”