The Offense Rolls as the Giants Beat Browns 41-27: After an ugly start, the New York Giants pretty comfortably beat the Cleveland Browns today at MetLife Stadium 41-27. The win improves the Giants overall record to 3-2.
The game did not start off well for New York as the Giants quickly found themselves in a 14-0 hole five minutes into the game. HB Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled the ball away on the Giants’ first offensive snap, giving the Browns the ball at the Giants’ 22-yard line. Two plays later, HB Trent Richardson ran up the gut for 15 yards and the touchdown. The Giants picked up one first down on their second possession and then were forced to punt. Five plays later, Browns’ QB Brandon Weeden hit WR Josh Gordon for a 62-yard touchdown. Browns 14 – Giants 0.
The Giants responded with an impressive 11-play, 92-yard drive on their third possession in which the Giants also overcame a 15-yard illegal chop block. The drive featured five rushes by Bradshaw for 33 yards and timely passes to wide receivers Domenik Hixon and Rueben Randle. QB Eli Manning finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown to WR Victor Cruz.
After a 40-yard kick return by WR Josh Cribbs, the Browns managed to drive the ball 50 yards in 10 plays to set up a 32-yard field goal to extend their lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter. The Giants responded with a 14-play, 68-yard drive that resulted in a 29-yard field goal by PK Lawrence Tynes. Browns 17 – Giants 10.
Cleveland turned the ball back over to the Giants on their ensuing possession. After allowing a 38-yard pass completion to the running back on 3rd-and-7, the Giants got the ball back three plays later when Weeden was intercepted by S Stevie Brown on 3rd-and-1. Brown returned the football 46 yards to the Browns 40-yard line. After a 36-yard pass from Manning to Randle, Bradshaw scored from four yards out to tie the game 17-17.
With less than three minutes before the half, S Will Hill forced Cribbs to fumble on the ensuing kickoff return. Stevie Brown recovered the fumble and returned it to the Browns’ 29-yard line. Manning found TE Martellus Bennett for 17 yards on 3rd-and-8. Two plays later, Manning found Cruz for another touchdown. Giants 24 – Cleveland 17 with 1:10 left before halftime.
Cleveland committed a couple of penalties on their last possession of the half and were forced to punt. Starting from their own 42-yard line with only 17 seconds on the clock, the Giants were able to maneuver into field goal range afer a 12 yard run by Bradshaw and a 24-pass interference call on a pass intended for Randle. Tynes hit a 40-yard field goal to give the Giants a 27-17 lead at halftime.
The Browns received the football to start the second half, crossed midfield, but then punted. Starting from their own 5-yard line, the Giants drove 95 yards in 9 plays to extend their advantage to 34-17. The drive featured 37-yard run by Bradshaw and ended with another touchdown pass from Manning to Cruz, this time from 28 yards out.
Cribbs returned the ensuing kickoff 74 yards to the Giants’ 30-yard line. Cleveland could not gain a first down but the Browns did come away with a 41-yard field goal. Giants 34 – Browns 20.
After both teams exchanged punts, a deep pass to Cruz was intercepted when the ball bounced out of the arms of Cruz (Cruz was clearly interfered on the play, but the penalty was not called). The interception was returned 44 yards to the Giants’ 27-yard line. Seven plays later, LB Chase Blackburn intercepted Weeden’s pass in the end zone.
The Giants pretty much put the game away on their next possession by driving 80 yards in six plays to take a commanding 41-20 advantage with less than six minutes to play. On the drive, Bradshaw broke off a 28-yard run and HB David Wilson finished it with a 40-yard touchdown run.
The Giants’ defense did allow the Browns to respond too quickly as Cleveland drove 76 yards in seven plays and 1 minute and 45 seconds. Giants 34 – Cleveland 17. But the Giants were able to successfully run out the clock in the last four minutes of the game as Bradshaw carried the ball six times for 36 yards.
The Giants’ offense racked up 502 total net yards and 30 first downs with 243 net rushing yards and 259 net passing yards. The Giants held more than a 10 minute advantage in time of possession. Manning finished the game 25-of-37 for 259 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Randle caught six passes for 82 yards, Hixon five passes for 55 yards, and Cruz five passes for 50 yards and three touchdowns. Bradshaw carried the ball 30 times for 200 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, the Giants allowed 375 total net yards and 15 first downs with 84 net yards rushing and 291 net yards passing. The Giants did not sack Weeden once, but did intercept him twice (by Stevie Brown and Chase Blackburn).
Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.
Injury Update: HB Andre Brown left the game in the first quarter with a head injury and did not return.
TE Martellus Bennett suffered a hyperextended knee in the first quarter but returned.
It was also discovered that the hip injury that OG Chris Snee is playing with is a partially-torn hip labrum. “I made it through,” Snee said. “I had no doubt in my mind I was going to play. Obviously not 100 percent, but still felt good.”
Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Transcripts and video clips of the following player media Q&As after the game are available at Giants.com:
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- HB Ahmad Bradshaw (Video)
- WR Victor Cruz (Video)
- WR Rueben Randle (Video)
- DE Justin Tuck (Video)
- S Stevie Brown (Video)
Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Hakeem Nicks (foot/knee), WR Ramses Barden (concussion), OT David Diehl (knee), DT Rocky Bernard (quadriceps), LB Keith Rivers (hamstring), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), and S Kenny Phillips (knee).
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Article on LB Chase Blackburn: Chase Blackburn a Fixture for Giants by Art Stapleton of The Bergen Record
Article on CB Prince Amukamara: Giants’ Prince Amukamara Primed to Turn Expectations Into Results by Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger