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New York Giants Offense (December 20, 2020)

New York Giants Offense – © USA TODAY Sports

CLEVELAND BROWNS 20 – NEW YORK GIANTS 6…
The Cleveland Browns soundly defeated the New York Giants 20-6 on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With the loss, the Giants fall to 5-9 and remain one game behind the 6-8 Washington Football Team in the NFC East with two games left to play. The Giants now have had seven losing seasons in the last eight years.

The Giants were minus three key players, including quarterback Daniel Jones (ankle/hamstring), cornerback James Bradberry (COVID-19 issue), and cornerback Darnay Holmes (knee). As you would expect given the final score, Cleveland dominated statistically, out-gaining the Giants in first downs (24 to 14), total net yards (392 to 288), net yards rushing (106 to 74), net yards passing (286 to 214), and time of possession (34:03 to 25:57). Neither team turned the football over and each team only had seven possessions (not counting the Giants kneel down at the end of the first half).

The Giants received the football first with running back Dion Lewis returning the opening kickoff 48 yards to the Cleveland 48-yard line. New York was able to pick up two first downs and reach the 8-yard line. However, instead of kicking the field goal on 4th-and-5, Head Coach Joe Judge called a fake field goal with punter Ron Dixon’s pass intended for center Nick Gates falling incomplete. The Giants turned the football over on downs at the 8-yard line.

On their first possession, the Browns then drove from the 8-yard line to the New York 43-yard line. On 4th-and-2, quarterback Baker Mayfield’s pass was deflected by defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence. Thus, the Browns also turned the football over on downs. The Giants responded with their only scoring drive of the first half. Back-up quarterback Colt McCoy threw a 35-yard pass to wide receiver Darius Slayton on 3rd-and-6 to the Cleveland 18-yard line. However, the Giants could get no closer and settled for a 37-yard field goal to go up 3-0.

Cleveland took the lead for good on their second possession of the game, driving 75 yards in 13 plays, culminating with a 2-yard touchdown pass to a wide open tight end Austin Hooper on 3rd-and-goal. Browns 7 – Giants 3.

Each team had three possessions in the first half. On New York’s third and final possession, the Giants gained 68 yards in 12 plays but were stuffed on 4th-and-2 running play from the Cleveland 6-yard line. On three red zone trips in the first half, the Giants only came away with three points. Worse, Cleveland made the Giants pay by driving 95 yards in 10 plays. Mayfield threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jarvis Landry (the Browns missed the extra point).

The Browns led 13-3 at the half.

The Browns received the ball to start the second half. They picked up one first down and punted (Cleveland’s first punt of the game). The Giants then drove from their own 14-yard line to the Cleveland 44-yard line. Judge decided not to game on 4th-and-4 and Dixon’s punt pinned the Browns at their own 5-yard line. That ended up being moot as Cleveland – for the second time in the game – drove 95 yards for a commanding 20-6 advantage on running back Nick Chubb’s 1-yard run on 3rd-and-goal. The 14-play marathon drive took over eight minutes off of the clock and by the time the Giants got the ball back, there was less than 13 minutes left in the game.

On New York’s second drive of the half, they picked up one first down before stalling. Cleveland also picked up one first down before punting. With 6:25 left in the game, the Giants began their second and final scoring drive, moving 56 yards in nine plays to set up a 39-yard field goal by place kicker Graham Gano. Browns 20 – Giants 6.

The Browns recovered the ensuing onside kick, picked up one first and took three minutes off of the clock before punting. When the Giants go the ball back on their final possession, there was only 65 seconds left on the clock. The Giants ran four more plays before the game ended, 20-6.

The Giants really only had six legitimate possessions in the game. McCoy completed 19-of-31 passes for 221 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions. His top targets were Slayton (4 catches for 74 yards), wide receiver Sterling Shepard (4 catches for 51 yards), and tight end Evan Engram (4 catches for 46 yards). Running back Alfred Morris carried the ball seven times for 39 yards and running back Wayne Gallman carried it nine times for 29 yards.

The defense did not force a turnover. Cleveland’s seven possessions resulted in three touchdowns, three punts, and one turnover on downs. Dexter Lawrence had the team’s only sack.

Video highlights are available at Giants.com.

PRACTICE SQUAD ACTIVATION, INACTIVES AND INJURY REPORT…
QB Clayton Thorson (COVID-19 replacement), CB Jarren Williams,and CB Quincy Wilson were activated from the Practice Squad for this game.

Inactive for the game were QB Daniel Jones (hamstring/ankle), CB Darnay Holmes (knee), WR Dante Pettis, OT Jackson Barton, OL Kyle Murphy, DE R.J. McIntosh, and LB T.J. Brunson.

The Giants reported no injuries from the game.

POST-GAME REACTION…
Transcripts and video clips of post-game media sessions with Head Coach Joe Judge and the following players are available in The Corner Forum and at Giants.com:

WHAT’S UP NEXT…
Head Coach Joe Judge and select players will address the media by conference call on Monday.

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Eric Kennedy

Eric Kennedy is Editor-in-Chief of BigBlueInteractive.com, a publication of Big Blue Interactive, LLC. Follow @BigBlueInteract on Twitter.

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