Hot! Week 5 Recap: Big Blue Beat Down Browns, 41-27

The New York Giants (3-2) went down by two touchdowns early to the Cleveland Browns, but overcame that deficit by scoring five of their own en route to a 41-27 victory. In the end, a strong performance from the running backs, three Victor Cruz scores, and an opportunistic defense overwhelmed the Browns, who fell to 0-5 for the first time since their return season to the NFL in 1999.

Giants QB Eli Manning (259 Yards, 3 TDs) was elite, but it was the awakening of the dormant running game (243 yards, 2 TDs) that opened things up for the offense. RB Ahmad Bradshaw posted a career best 200 rushing yards, leaving Manning to execute an effective play-action passing game. The result was a Browns defense that looked lost for most of the contest.

But it was scary early, as the Giants couldn’t have gotten off to a slower start if they had tried. Bradshaw fumbled the ball away on the first offensive play of the game. Two plays later, the Browns promising rookie RB Trent Richardson scampered into the endzone on a 15-yard run. After producing no points on their next offensive series, the Giants punted the ball back to Cleveland, who quickly launched a second salvo when rookie QB Brandon Weeden connected with rookie WR Josh Gordon on a 62-yard touchdown bomb that gave Cleveland a 14-0 lead and silenced the MetLife Stadium crowd. The Giants stormed back with two Cruz salsas and Bradshaw’s second TD of the season, taking the lead before the half from Cleveland’s wave of first-year players.

Not to be outdone, a pair of New York rookies rose to the challenge. WR Rueben Randle finished with six catches and 82 yards while RB David Wilson blasted off on a 44-yard TD run. It was mostly smooth sailing in the second half for the Giants, who sported three timely takeaways by their defense and an offensive line that allowed no sacks while opening up gaping running lanes all day.

Cleveland had actually been victorious in their last three games against defending Super Bowl champions, adding fuel to the talk of an upset, but the Giants pulled out the big victory in a strong thrashing of a team that, on paper, stood very little chance to win.

New York has a tough schedule ahead, with difficult match-ups against the 49ers, Redskins, Cowboys, Steelers and Bengals before their Week 11 bye, and couldn’t afford to lose at home against the hapless Browns. With the Eagles losing to the Steelers, they will head into next week tied for first in a competitive NFC East.


Nicholas Kostopoulos

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