Giants’ Defense Pummels Browns, Extend Winning Streak to Six
Giants 27, Browns 13
The New York Giants (8-3) winning streak is now at six games after defeating the Cleveland Browns (0-12), 27-13 Sunday afternoon at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.
Both teams were in a stalemate in the first quarter and a half of the game. Both offenses could not get anything going, in what looked like we were in store for an ugly game. The Giants were able to destroy this trend after Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison forced Browns running back Isiah Crowell to fumble the ball, allowing linebacker Devon Kennard to recover. Now set at the Brown’s own 31 yard line, Eli Manning would complete a 18 yard pass to wide receiver Roger Lewis. On the very next play, Manning would throw a left corner fade into the end zone, which Giants’ fans know all too well that that play rarely ever works. Today was a new day, however, as wide receiver Dwayne Harris brought down the pass for a 13 yard touchdown, giving the Giants a 7-0 with 7:03 left in the second quarter.
After Cleveland was able to get on the board on Cody Parkey’s 20 yard field goal, the Giants would then go on to answer their own. Manning would throw a deep pass down the field, where wide receiver Victor Cruz would haul down a 37 yard reception. Two plays later, Manning would complete a pass to Odell Beckham Jr, who ran a short slant route up the middle, and would then take it to the house for a 32 yard touchdown. By the end of the second quarter, the Browns would score on a 25 yard field goal, after being stuffed by the Giants goal line defense, making the score 14-6 entering halftime.
There was not much to report on in the third quarter, as both teams could not get anything going. Early in the fourth quarter, Browns quarterback would attempt to tie the game. McCown was a victim to the Giants front seven, and on this drive, it was nothing new. As McCown attempted a pass, he was sacked by Giants defensive tackle Jonathan Hankins, forcing a fumble. Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul would then pick up the fumble and take it 43 yards for the touchdown, giving the Giants a 20-6 lead, after a missed extra point by kicker Robbie Gould.
On the Browns next drive, McCown used short passes to work their way into Giants’ territory. McCown would then complete a 21 yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman, who stood alone in the end zone after blown coverage by the Giants’ secondary. The Giants lead was now cut down to 20-13 with 8:17 left in the game.
Giants’ fans collectively groaned as what seemed to be another game going down to the wire. But fear not Giants’ fans, the Giants had an answer to Cleveland’s touchdown. Manning would complete a short pass to the right of the field to Beckham, who would take it 41 yards. On the next play, wide receiver Sterling Shepard would rush on an end around for 22 yards. Manning would hit Beckham again for a four yard touchdown, giving the Giants a 27-13 lead.
The Browns would try to attempt a comeback with 1:35 left in the game. The Giants defense would then put the proverbial dagger in Cleveland’s back. Pierre-Paul would sack McCown for his third sack of the game, forcing the fumble, where defensive end Kerry Wynn would recover and give the Giants’ the victory.
“We have to get better,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “We believe we’re going to win the game, find a way to get the game in our favor in the end. We need to get better as the season goes on.”
After seeing a low number of targets last week against the Bears, Odell Beckham would not have this issue this week, as he was heavily targeted from the start of the game. Beckham would have six receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
“You’re getting the opportunity to make plays, you’re getting the opportunity to catch balls,” said Beckham. “We did it early and it gives you confidence as a receiver when you get involved early. It puts me in a position to cause trouble for the rest of the game…The biggest thing is finding ways to close the game out.”
“He’s a playmaker, good things happen when the ball ends up in his hands,” said Manning. “We have to find ways to keep him in the game. Teams are obviously game planning to try to slow him down and prevent catches. We have to take advantage and be creative to find ways to get him the ball.”
Jason Pierre-Paul would have himself an impressive game. A strong candidate for NFL Comeback Player of the Year, Pierre-Paul would have three sacks, seven tackles, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery touchdown. Pierre-Paul pummeled his way through Cleveland’s offensive line for the majority of the game, being one of the key reasons for why the Giants were victorious.
“It was all mental for me,” said Pierre-Paul. “Fight injuries, but the mental part came in big time. I paid attention…Saturday I practiced, but it actually helped big time for me to come out here and have a good game.”
“From what he’s been through, the hand injury, missing half of the season last year, coming back, having this year’s slow start and him taking over these last two games late in the games,” said Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas. “That’s the type of player he’s been.”
“He played with tremendous effort and physicality,” said McAdoo. “He was all over the field. To come with [a fumble] and run it back, great effort.”
The defense has been getting better week by week, and in Cleveland, it looked rather impressive. The defense was able to sack McCown five times in this game, as well as three forced fumbles. The defense look like they are not slowing down and in the process, are slowing down opposing offenses. This will be key for the Giants to climb up the standings and to eventually lock up a playoff spot.
“Whenever our offense clicks, they’re gonna click,” said Pierre-Paul. “Until then, we’ll hold them down with our defense, which we are doing very well. When all three phases get together and start doing some good things, there’s going to be trouble.”
The Giants look to extend their winning streak to seven games next week, as they travel to Heinz Field to face the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5).
Total Plays: 55
Total Yards: 296
Penalties: 9-100 yards
First Downs: 13
Eli Manning: 15/27, 194 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 115.4 QBR
Rashad Jennings: 15 rushes, 55 yards, 2 receptions, 4 yards.
Odell Beckham Jr.: 9 receptions, 96 yards, 2 TD.
Sterling Shepard: 1 rush, 22 yards.
Jason Pierre-Paul: 7 tackles, 2 assists, 3 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 TD
Damon Harrison: 9 tackles, 5 assists, 1 forced fumble
Jonathan Hankins: 3 tackles, 2 assists, 1.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
Olivier Vernon: 4 tackles, 1 assist, 1.5 sacks
Janoris Jenkins: 5 tackles, 2 assists, 1 sack.
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