NEW YORK GIANTS 27 – CLEVELAND BROWNS 13…
The New York Giants won their sixth game in a row on Sunday by defeating the winless Cleveland Browns 27-13 at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. With the victory, the Giants improved their overall record to 8-3, two games behind the first-place Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.
In a game that was close until the 4th quarter, the Browns out-gained the Giants in first downs (21 to 13), total net yards (343 to 296), net yards passing (285 to 192), and time of possession (33:51 to 26:09). But the Giants out-rushed the Browns (104 to 58) won the turnover battle (3 to 1), and scored on defense. And while Cleveland was 1-of-3 (33 percent) in red zone opportunities, the Giants were a perfect 2-of-2 (100 percent). The Giants did commit nine penalties for 100 yards.
Both teams struggled offensively for much of the first half as the score remained 0-0 until midway through the 2nd quarter. The Giants first four possessions resulted in five first downs, 65 net yards, and four punts. Meanwhile, the Browns first four possessions resulted in three first downs, 58 net yards, three punts, and a fumble. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison forced running back Isaiah Crowell to fumble, and the loose ball was recovered by linebacker Devon Kennard at the Browns 31-yard line. After an 18-yard pass from quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Roger Lewis, Manning then found wide receiver Dwayne Harris for a 13-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
The Giants defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Browns possession but Cleveland got the ball right back when running back Bobby Rainey muffed the punt, giving the Browns the ball at the New York 30-yard line. Despite allowing Cleveland to convert on 4th-and-1 and to drive to the 2-yard line, the defense held and the Browns were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal.
The Giants extended their lead to 14-3 late in the 2nd quarter as New York drove 69 yards in four plays and just 30 seconds. While two passing plays resulted in incompletions, Manning found wide receivers Victor Cruz for 37 yards and Odell Beckham for 32 yards and the score on the other two plays. However, with 1:13 to go before halftime, the Browns responded with an 8-play, 68 yard drive to set up a 25-yard field goal as time expired. At the half, the Giants led 14-6.
Like the start of the game, both teams struggled offensive at the start of the second half. New York’s first four possessions resulted in one first down, 32 net yards, and four punts. (Beckham had a 59-yard punt return for a touchdown erased by a holding penalty on linebacker Mark Herzlich). Cleveland’s first five possessions resulted in four first downs, 89 net yards, four punts, and a fumble. With just over 11 minutes to go in the game, defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins sacked quarterback Josh McCown, forcing a fumble that was returned 43 yards for a touchdown by defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Place kicker Robbie Gould missed the extra point attempt and the Giants led 20-6.
Cleveland quickly tightened the game again by driving 75 yards in five plays. McCown found wide receiver Corey Coleman for a 21-yard touchdown to cut the score to 20-13 with 8:17 left to play.
The Giants pulled away on their ensuing possession. A 41-yard pass from Manning to Beckham followed by a 22-yard gain on an end-around by wideout Sterling Shepard moved the ball to the Browns 6-yard line. Three plays later, Manning hit Beckham on 3rd-and-goal for a 4-yard touchdown.
The final two Browns drives ended with a turnover on downs at the Giants 40-yard line and a fumble forced by Pierre-Paul on a sack. Defensive end Kerry Wynn recovered the fumble to seal the game.
Offensively, Manning completed 15-of-27 passes for 194 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Odell Beckham was the only player to catch more than two passes, as he had six receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Rashad Jennings rushed for 55 yards on 15 carries and Paul Perkins rushed for 29 yards on nine carries.
Defensively, the Giants accrued seven sacks, 11 quarterback hits, eight tackles for losses, five pass defenses, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries. Damon Harrison led the team with nine tackles, and also forced a fumble. Jason Pierre-Paul had seven tackles, three sacks, three tackles for losses, a forced fumble, and a fumble returned for a touchdown. Defensive end Olivier Vernon was credited with four tackles, 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hits, and two tackles for losses. Johnathan Hankins had three tackles, 1.5 sacks, two quarterback hits, and forced one fumble. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins had five tackles, one sack, two tackles for losses, and two pass defenses. Devon Kennard and Kerry Wynn recovered fumbles.
Video highlights/lowlights are available at Giants.com.
INACTIVE LIST AND INJURY REPORT…
Inactive for the game were left guard Justin Pugh (knee), offensive lineman Brett Jones (calf), offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse (knee), wide receiver Tavarres King, quarterback Josh Johnson, defensive tackle Jay Bromley, and cornerback Leon Hall.
Safety Nat Berhe and linebacker Mark Herzlich both suffered concussions in the game. This is the second time Berhe has suffered a concussion this year. Wide receiver Odell Beckham (thumb), defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa (knee), and cornerback Janoris Jenkins (unknown) all left the game with injuries but returned. Cornerback Eli Apple suffered from cramps.
Video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Ben McAdoo and the following players are available at Giants.com:
- Head Coach Ben McAdoo (Video)
- QB Eli Manning (Video)
- RB Rashad Jennings (Video)
- WR Odell Beckham, Jr. (Video)
- WR Dwayne Harris (Video)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (Video)
- LB Jonathan Casillas (Video)
- Giants rookie class led by Sterling Shepard making significant impact by Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com
- Meet Bobby Hart, the Giants’ ever-improving, always-hustling right tackle by Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com
- Giants running back Rashad Jennings wants to be president by Steve Serby of The New York Post
- HUFF’S REVENGE: Sam Huff still savoring Washington’s 72-41 win over Giants 50 years later by Kevin Armstrong of The Daily News