5 things to know after Patriots beat Browns 27-26

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2013 at 2:33 am •  Published: December 9, 2013
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — 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 Sunday.

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."

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