Welcome back, Tom Brady. As an appetizer after your month-long ban, before you embark upon a run that appears to be destined for the Lombardi Trophy, the NFL would like to present you the winless Cleveland Browns. Enjoy.

On paper, this game isn't at all enticing. It's the 3-1 Patriots against the 0-4 Browns. Even though it'll be played in Cleveland, it's still the Patriots and the Browns. There probably isn't a person alive who thinks the Patriots aren't going to beat the Browns.

But this game might be one of the most intriguing games of Week 5. And for that, we can thank (for a change) Deflategate.

Brady, fresh off his Deflategate four-game suspension, is back for the Patriots, who survived his suspension by somehow posting a 3-1 record. Even without Brady, they find themselves leading the AFC East. And now, they get to ease Brady back into the swing of things by letting him warm up against a winless Browns team.

Adding to the intrigue: Rob Gronkowski, who appears to be nearing his actual return to the field. Sure, he's played in the Patriots' past two games, but he hasn't been the Gronk we've all come to know and love. In his season debut, he was targeted just once. In his second game, he caught his first pass for an 11-yard gain, but received just two targets. In the vast majority of his snaps so far, he's been used as a blocker -- something he's also incredibly good at. So no, we haven't seen the full version of Gronk yet.

Though there's no way to know if he's fully healthy, there's a chance this will be his breakout game -- at least that's what Gronk indicated this week.

"Obviously, it's holding me back. I missed the first two games, didn't play that much the third one, and played more the fourth one, so I've been progressing every single week, every single day, and hopefully this week, now it's go time," Gronkowski said, per ESPN.

As for the Browns, well, there's not much to watch over there. Their best player is running back Isaiah Crowell, who is averaging the most yards per carry (6.5) among all running backs. He's also the league's most elusive runner, per Pro Football Focus, with his 4.51 yards after contact per attempt.

At quarterback, the Browns do not have Tom Brady, but they do have a rookie who hasn't looked awful. Cody Kessler, the team's third-round pick, has generated an 83.5 passer rating in two games, so he hasn't been bad by the Browns' typical standards.

Neither has Terrelle Pryor, who actually looks like a legitimate NFL receiver, which is awesome, because Pryor is awesome. He's averaging 15.3 yards per catch so far. That's really, really good!

Pryor and Crowell aside, this game is entirely about Brady. Funnily enough, Brady has actually struggled against the Browns in the past. In six career games, he's accumulated a passer rating of 87.4.

But this is Brady's first game back from a suspension that stemmed from the PSI levels in footballs used during a 45-7 game. This is Brady's first game back after becoming the NFL's public enemy No. 1. This is Tom Brady.

He's going to roll. It's inevitable.

How to Watch

  • What: New England Patriots vs. Cleveland Browns
  • When: Sunday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. ET
  • Where: FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio
  • TV: CBS
  • Streaming: Verizon NFL Mobile App
  • Sunday Ticket: DirecTV
  • Online: NFL Game Pass (available to watch online after midnight)
  • Odds: The Patriots are 10.5-point favorites, according to SportsLine.

Injury report



Prisco's Pick

This is the return of Tom Brady to the lineup. After last week's loss to the Bills, the Patriots will be focused here. That's bad news for a Browns team with little talent. Brady rolls.

Pick: Patriots 33, Browns 14