Five-star answer: Time will be on Patriots’ side

October, 13, 2011
10/13/11
9:15
AM ET
Five-star question: Will the Patriots tie the NFL record of 14 consecutive games with at least 30 points this week?

No disrespect intended to Rob Ryan or the players he has declared the most talented cast of defenders in the NFL.

This isn’t a knock on the Cowboys’ defense. It’s props for the Patriots’ offense. And it’s doubt about the Dallas running game.

The only way to hold the Patriots to less than 30 points is to force Tom Brady and Co. to spend most of Sunday afternoon on the sideline. Just look at the last time it happened.

Yes, Ryan deserves a ton of credit for coming up with a defensive game plan that confused Brady, causing the Patriots to go only 3-of-11 on third-down conversions. But it was hard for Brady to get into a rhythm while watching the Browns rush for 230 yards and control the ball for more than 38 minutes.

The Browns rode their workhorse that afternoon. Peyton Hillis had 184 yards on 29 carries.

Anybody see a workhorse in the Cowboys’ backfield? Have any hope that the NFL’s No. 30 rushing offense can chew up the clock?

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