Patriots sickened by Browns’ “Amoeba” defense
The Browns are one of a select group of teams to occasionally run the "Amoeba" defense, aptly nicknamed because of its shapeless, ever-changing appearance. The formation, consisting of at least five defensive players in the box with one or fewer down linemen, creates confusion for the quarterback in assigning protection and makes the defense more versatile in pass-coverage schemes. It was very effective in slowing down the Patriots’ passing game on Sunday.
Eight is not enough vs Hillis
Browns RB Peyton Hillis carried the ball six times for 59 yards (9.8 yds per carry) and a touchdown on Sunday when the Patriots had eight or more defenders in the box. Entering Week 9, the Patriots had allowed only 1.3 yards per carry with eight in the box, fourth-best in the NFL. Hillis also rushed for three first downs in those situations, half the total that the Patriots had allowed in their first seven games this season (six).
Brady was off the mark
Tom Brady was off the mark all day against the Browns, and exceeded his season average of almost every type of incompletion, including overthrowing his receivers on seven occasions.
Hillis excelled up the middle
Of his 29 carries, Hillis ran the ball 21 times for 133 yards and a touchdown on attempts between the tackles (72.4 percent). Entering Week 9, only 49ers RB Frank Gore (69.5) had a higher percentage of his carries go up the middle than Hillis (65.4).
Compiled by Jason Starrett and Trevor Ebaugh