The New York Giants had to win their game over the winless Cleveland Browns on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. With a beast of a schedule ahead of them, there was no margin for error despite the myriad of injuries to key starters.
The G-Men took care of business by overcoming a 14-0 deficit to smash the Browns, 41-27 to improve to 3-2 while bracing for their final 11 games against division rivals or playoff teams from last year.
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Ahmad Bradshaw: Appeared headed for Dudsville after he fumbled his first carry of the game, which lead to the Browns' first touchdown. Then Bradshaw ran angry and with serious intentions for a career-high 200 yards on 30 carries. The Giants are 9-0 in games Bradshaw has rushed for 100 yards or more.
Victor Cruz: Three times the salsa as Cruz caught three of his five passes for touchdowns.
Eli Manning: Another day at the office for Easy E. Manning was 25 of 37 for 259 yards, three scores and an interception.
Rueben Randle: Questioned all week about his work ethic, Randle the Rookie became the next man up. Getting more playing time with injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, Randle led the Giants with six catches for 82 yards and was targeted a game-high nine times.
Stevie Brown: Another "next man up," Downtown Stevie Brown returned an interception 46 yards to the Browns' 40 that set up the game-tying score in the second quarter. Brown later recovered a Joshua Cribbs fumbled kickoff and the Giants were on their way. Expect Brown to start a safety if Kenny Phillips isn't recovered from his knee injury.
The Cleveland Browns: There are reasons why the Browns are 0-5 for the first time since the franchise was resurrected in 1999 and are losers of 11 straight dating back to last season. They blew that 14-0 lead with several mistakes that led to 20 Giants points and defensively surrendered 502 yards of offense. In addition, the Brownies committed 10 penalties for 91 yards.
Joshua Cribbs: Cribbs did return six kickoffs for 221 yards with a long of 74, but that lost fumble killed and buried any momentum the Browns generated in the first quarter.
Giants defensive line: Failed to register a sack of Brandon Weeden. Entering the game, the vaunted front four was near the bottom of the league with eight all season. Jason Pierre-Paul (two tackles) in particular was a non-factor, though he did have a pass defensed.
After the Giants tied the game at 17 with 2:52 left in the first half, Will Hill forced a Cribbs fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Brown recovered and took the ball to the Browns' 29-yard line. Manning later found Cruz for their second scoring connection at 1:10 that gave the Giants a 24-17 lead. The sequence was part of a 27-3 Giants run that buried the Browns.
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