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How the Patriots defense can shut down Nick Chubb and the Browns again – Boston Herald

Last season, the Browns bulldozed the Patriots over an 84-yard opening touchdown drive.

Then, they got shut out.

The Pats pulled the plug on Cleveland’s league-leading run game — which ranks No. 1 again this year — with heavy personnel and an early lead. They dialed up a high rate of 3-4 defense in the first half, which allowed inside linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley and Dont’a Hightower to pulverize pulling Browns guards who intended to clear running room for Nick Chubb. Offensively, the Patriots scored on all of their first-half possessions and seven of eight before kneeling the clock out.

The Browns were forced to play catchup almost immediately, and with then quarterback Baker Mayfield throwing aimlessly downfield, including one interception that found safety Kyle Dugger, the game was over.

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