5 things to know after Patriots beat Browns 27-26

In a career filled with fourth-quarter comebacks, Tom Brady

never saw anything like this.

He threw two touchdown passes in the last 61 seconds. The

Cleveland Browns committed two key penalties in that stretch. And

the New England Patriots recovered their first onside kick that led

to the winning play in their history.

Even Brady had to marvel at what his team accomplished in its

27-26 win Sunday.

”That was awesome,” he said.

It was Brady’s 41st win as a starter when the Patriots trailed

or were tied in the fourth quarter. That’s about one-fourth of his

162 career victories and just eight fewer than his 49 losses since

he became a starter in 2001.

”We’ve seen Tom do this so many times before,” New England

coach Bill Belichick said. ”I think it’s probably all been said

before, but he did it again.”

The downside was that tight end Rob Gronkowski also got hurt

again, leaving the game with a suspected torn anterior cruciate

ligament in his right knee in the third quarter.

The Patriots (10-3) remained one game ahead of the Cincinnati

Bengals in the race for the No. 2 spot, and a first-round playoff

bye, in the AFC. They did it after trailing at halftime for the

fourth straight game and fifth in their last six. They’ve won four

of those comebacks but didn’t have to overcome a deficit in the

last two minutes of the other three.

They did against the Browns (4-9).

”We held in there as long as we could (and) Tom Brady did his

thing at the end,” Cleveland defensive end Ahtyba Rubin said.

Brady threw touchdown passes of 2 yards to Julian Edelman with

1:01 left and 1 yard to Danny Amendola with 31 seconds remaining

after the Patriots trailed 26-14.

Then Cleveland’s Billy Cundiff missed a 58-yard field goal

attempt on the final play.

”Everyone’s going to remember this one,” Patriots defensive

end Rob Ninkovich said.

Five things to know about the Patriots latest comeback win:

GRONK’S GONE AGAIN: The Patriots star appears done for the

season in which he’s played just seven games. He missed the first

six while recovering from offseason back and forearm surgeries. He

led all NFL tight ends in the next six games with 37 catches and

560 yards receiving but had just two catches for 32 yards


Gronkowski was hurt when he was hit on the right knee by safety

T.J. Ward after a 21-yard reception.

”If I would have hit him up high, there’s a chance I would get

fined and all that other stuff,” Ward said. ”It’s kind of being

caught between a rock and a hard place.”

ONSIDE SUCCESS: The last time the Patriots recovered an onside

kick was in an AFC playoff game on Jan. 1, 1995. That was against

the original Browns, who moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens.

Cleveland’s coach then? Bill Belichick. The result? A 20-13 Browns


On Sunday, Kyle Arrington recovered Stephen Gostkowski’s kick at

the Browns 40 after it hit Cleveland’s Fozzy Whitaker.

”I’ve been practicing onside kicks for so long and I’ve

probably only done like four to five in a game, even going back to

high school,” Gostkowski said. ”I’ve never been that jacked up

after a game.”

BROWNS PENALTIES: Two penalties in the final 61 seconds hurt

Cleveland. The first was an unnecessary roughness call against

Jordan Poyer for hitting Edelman on his touchdown. The 15 yards

were assessed on the kickoff on which Arrington recovered the


”Any time the referee sees a defender go high (he is) going to

throw the flag,” Poyer said.

The other penalty was pass interference against Leon McFadden in

the end zone that moved the ball from the Browns 30 to the 1.

Amendola scored the final touchdown on the next play.

Chudzinski and McFadden disagreed with the call.

GREAT GORDON: Josh Gordon caught seven passes for 151 yards, his

fourth straight game with at least 125. The Browns lost all four.

He also scored on an 80-yard pass play, his third touchdown of at

least 74 yards in four games.

Gordon set an NFL record of 774 yards receiving in four

consecutive games. Calvin Johnson set the previous mark of 746 this

season. Gordon also set a single-season team record for yards

receiving with 1,400. Braylon Edwards established the previous mark

of 1,289 in 2007.

CUTTING IT CLOSE: Brady completed 32 of 52 passes for 418 yards,

the second game this season and the sixth in his career that he

surpassed 400. But he knows the Patriots’ penchant for cutting it

close may hurt them.

”We’re not trying to give (opponents) those leads and,

certainly, our execution wasn’t great, but we came through when we

needed to,” he said.”

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org