FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Welcome to the 300 Club, Bill Belichick.
The New England Patriots' 27-13 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday was Belichick's 300th as a head coach (regular season and playoffs) as he joins Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) as the only coaches to hit the mark. Quarterback Tom Brady previously said Belichick deserves it, as he called him the greatest coach of all time while citing his "competitive stamina."
The game had a familiar look to the others that have helped the Patriots jump out to an 8-0 start this season -- the defense set the tone with three turnovers in the first quarter, and the offense complemented the unit by not turning the ball over while continuing to manage a challenging personnel situation in which new pieces are being integrated weekly.
As for Belichick, hitting 300 wins had a full-circle feel to it.
His first career win was as the Browns' head coach -- against the Patriots in Foxborough. So it may have been fitting that this win also came in New England, this time against the Browns.
Eye-popping NextGen Stat: One of the key plays in the first half was Browns running back Nick Chubb's fumble, when he ran 44 yards to the Patriots' 16 before Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones caught him from behind to force the ball loose. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jones reached a max speed of 20.25 miles per hour, well above the max speed Chubb reached on the play (18.92 mph).
Describe the game in two words: Soggy and sloppy. It had poured heavily all day, before subsiding in the second half, and the play on the field reflected the conditions as the Patriots' defense totaled three turnovers in the first quarter.
Promising trend: On a fourth-and-4 play in the second quarter, Brady found newly acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu for a gain of 4 yards, with Sanu having just enough juice to squeeze his way past the first-down marker. That Brady looked in Sanu's direction in a got-to-have-it moment is something they can build on as they work to build a rapport. Sanu was charted on the field for 36 of 68 snaps (penalties included).
Pivotal play: The Patriots led 17-10 in the third quarter, facing a third-and-10 from their own 16, and momentum was on the cusp of swinging to the Browns' side. Brady found running back James White on a screen play that went 59 yards and set up a Brady-to-Julian Edelman 14-yard touchdown pass four plays later.
Bold prediction for next week: The Patriots won't make another trade by Tuesday's deadline, instead welcoming back first-round draft choice N'Keal Harry to the active roster. Harry was previously designated to return off injured reserve, and is eligible to make his debut in the game next week at Baltimore. Also on the predictions front, 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn will be designated to return off IR this week (eligible to play for the first time Nov. 17 at Philadelphia).