FOXBOROUGH, Mass.—Bill Belichick was 39 years old when he coached the Cleveland Browns to a win over the New England Patriots in 1991—his first as an NFL coach.
As Belichick trotted toward the centre of the field yesterday, his trademark cutoff hooded sweatshirt soaked in rain following the Patriots' 27-13 win over the Browns, he did so as a member of a small, but elite group of coaches.
Tom Brady threw for 259 yards and two touchdown passes to help Belichick earn his 300th career victory in the Patriots' win.
Belichick sits behind only Don Shula (347) and George Halas (324) on the NFL's all-time list.
The Patriots improved to 8-0 for the third time in team history and the first time since 2015, when they started 10-0. The Browns have lost three straight games.
Brady completed 20 of 36 passes, hitting Julian Edelman on eight of them for 78 yards and both TDs.
New England capitalized on three first-quarter turnovers by Cleveland to take a 17-0 lead.
Running back Nick Chubb had back-to-back fumbles and quarterback Baker Mayfield had an interception.
The Patriots have now forced a league-high 25 turnovers this season.
Safety and captain Devin McCourty said they now come into games expecting to force two or three turnovers.
The Browns did trim New England's lead to 17-10 early in the third quarter. But the Patriots struck right back on their next possession, using a 59-yard completion from Brady to James White to help set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Brady to Edelman.
Chubb ran for 131 yards, and Mayfield finished 20 of 31 for 194 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots have now won 21 straight games against first- or second-year signal callers, the longest such streak in NFL history.
Cleveland's three turnovers on three consecutive offensive plays marked the first time any team has done so since the Dolphins did it in Week 1 of the 2012 season against the Texans. It is only the seventh time it has been done since 2000.