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Game day blog: Final — Patriots 27, Browns 26

By Nate Ulrich Published: December 8, 2013

The Browns (4-8) are facing the New England Patriots (9-3) today at Gillette Stadium. Below is our game day blog. It will be updated at the end of each quarter.

Final: Patriots 27, Browns 26

Tom Brady pulled off one of the best comebacks in the NFL this season to beat the Browns. The Browns led 26-14 with 2:43 after Jason Campbell hit Jordan Cameron for a 4-yard touchdown. The Patriots quickly got into scoring position and found the end zone on a 2-yard pass to Julian Edelman with just over a minute remaining, making it 26-21. The Patriots then needed to recover an onside kick and did after running back Fozzy Whittaker couldn't recover it cleanly and the New England jumped on it. The Pats found themselves near the goal line again after cornerback Leon McFadden was called for pass interference in the end zone. With 35 seconds remaining, Brady again found the end zone, this time on a 1-yard pass to Danny Amendola, who beat Buster Skrine on an out pattern. Jason Campbell moved the Browns into position to try a long field goal and spiked the ball with one second left. Billy Cundiff's 58-yard attempt, though, fell short. 

Campbell finished the game 29-of-44 for 391 yards and three touchdowns. Gordon had seven catches for 151 yards and a touchdown and also led the team in rushing with a 34-yard run. 

End 3Q: Browns 19, Patriots 11

Josh Gordon did it again. After a slow start, Gordon burned Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib for an 80-yard touchdown on a slant pattern to give the Browns a 19-3 lead. It's his fouth-straight 100-yard game. Before that, Campbell hit Gary Barnidge for a 40-yard touchdown pass in which Barnidge broke free after a few Patriots collided with one another. The Browns, leading 12-0 after that play, went for two points but were stuffed at the line scrimmage. The Patriots added a field goal before Gordon's 80-yard touchdown sprint. At the end of the quarter, the Tom Brady finally found a rhythm  on a 72-yard drive that took only 1:19 off the clock. That drive was capped by Shane Vereen's 6-yard touchdown run. The Pats then converted their 2-point conversion to make it 19-11. Earlier, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski left the game after T.J. Ward went low and hit his knee. He won't return. For the Browns, John Greco will not return. 

End 2Q: Browns 6, Patriots 0 

Jason Campbell has done enough to move the offense and Tom Brady hasn't been able to do anything in the first half. Billy Cundiff pushed the Browns' lead to 6-0 early in the second quarter with a 37-yard field goal. The Browns didn't do much more on offense, but Brady has been held in check all day. He's just 7-of-19 passing for 95 yards and an interception, and Patriots receivers have dropped four passes already. New England only held the ball for 10:21. Campbell is 14-of-23 for 125 yards. Browns guard John Greco is questionable to return with a knee injury. 

End1Q: Browns 3, Patriots 0 

The Browns have dominated time of possession and Jason Campbell has looked in control of the offense. On the team's opening drive, kicker Billy Cundiff put the Browns on top with a 43-yard field goal. Later in the quarter, inside linebacker D'Qwell Jackson dropped back into coverage and intercepted Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, returning it to the Browns' 44-yard line. At the end of the quarter, Campbell had the Browns deep inside Patriots territory threatening another score. 

Pregame notes

Inactives: Browns – Quarterback Brandon Weeden (concussion), quarterback Alex Tanney, offensive tackle Martin Wallace, guard Garrett Gilkey, offensive tackle Reid Fragel, tight end Keavon Milton and wide receiver Josh Cooper. Notes: The Browns chose Caleb Hanie, whom they signed off the street Tuesday, as their No. 2 quarterback today behind starter Jason Campbell. The alternative would have been Tanney, whom they signed off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad Nov. 26. Inside linebackers Craig Robertson (knee) and Tank Carder (shoulder) are active despite heading into the weekend listed as questionable. Robertson missed the past two games. Carder missed the most recent one. Robertson is expected to return to the starting lineup. Patriots – Wide receiver Aaron Dobson (foot), running back Brandon Bolden (not injury related), tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (knee), linebacker Steve Beauharnais, offensive tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle), wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins (hip) and defensive end Jake Bequette.

Lineup changes: None announced. Notes: Although neither team announced lineup changes, it’s safe to bet the Browns’ Billy Winn and John Hughes will receive ample playing time at defensive end with Desmond Bryant out for the season after undergoing a cardiac ablation Friday to correct an irregular heartbeat.

Ryan Lewis’ top storylines: 1. The Browns’ quarterback drama continues. Jason Campbell will get the start at quarterback today after he missed the game last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a concussion. Brandon Weeden, who suffered a concussion in the Jaguars’ game, has been ruled out for today. Coach Rob Chudzinski said Friday that the coaches have yet to decide who will be the backup quarterback to Campbell, Alex Tanney or Caleb Hanie, both of whom were signed within the past two weeks. 2. Coming off back-to-back record-breaking performances, Josh Gordon will go up against the New England Patriots’ Aqib Talib, the best cornerback the Browns have faced this year. Talib shut down the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham a few weeks ago and is routinely ranked as one of the top 5 cornerbacks in the league. 3. Nickel cornerback Chris Owens was placed on season-ending injured reserve this week, setting the stage for more playing time for rookie cornerback Leon McFadden, a third-round draft choice. The Patriots have been known to use an assortment of receivers in the slot — five Patriots receivers have at least 32 catches this season — which could mean a big role for McFadden in today’s game. 4. The Browns and Patriots are veering in opposite directions. The Browns have lost six of their past seven and are out of playoff contention, even in a subpar year for the AFC. The Patriots, meanwhile, have won four of their past five and have a three-game lead in the AFC East. The momentum is with the Patriots. 5. Tom Brady has started to put up Tom Brady-like numbers after he started slow this season. He’s had a passer rating of at least 91.3 in each of the past four games, and in three eclipsed 100. In the eight games prior, he had never topped 93.

Preview stories via Ohio.com: 1. After letdown in crunch time, Browns' defense aiming for redemption against Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. 2. Key Matchup: Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski vs. linebackers, safeties. 3. Five numbers to know for Sunday. 4. Quote of the week. 5. How they rank. 6. Predictions from Nate Ulrich, Marla Ridenour and Ryan Lewis. 7. Browns quarterback Jason Campbell, his teammates relieved he’s been cleared to start Sunday. 8. Browns notebook: Desmond Bryant expected to make full recovery after undergoing cardiac ablation. 9. Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon convinced Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib won’t stop his pursuit of record.

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