Here's what else we learned:
- Cleveland's defense came to play. The Browns led 6-0 at half, holding Brady to 95 passing yards and an interception -- but it didn't last. Brady has been a surgeon with the game on the line over the past month. He's playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL down the stretch, especially with his back against the wall.
- Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib got the best of Josh Gordon early, but the Browns receiver won the day. Gordon proved again that he can't be suppressed over four quarters, beating Talib in coverage and outrunning him for an 80-yard score that put Cleveland up 19-3 in the third quarter. Gordon's 774 receiving yards over his past four starts shatters a league record for yardage over a four-game span.
- Back in the lineup, running back Stevan Ridley wasn't a factor early as the Patriots leaned on Shane Vereen's pass-catching ability and LeGarrette Blount on the ground. Ridley ultimately matched Blount's eight carries and, more importantly, didn't fumble. Still, it's Vereen who makes this offense go. He led all Patriots with 12 catches for 153 yards on the afternoon.
- The Patriots' win keeps it simple; they're in excellent position for the second seed and a bye in the AFC -- and have a solid shot at No. 1 if the AFC West champion slips up.