New York came out flat on both sides of the football as the Browns capitalized on an Ahmad Bradshaw with a Trent Richardson touchdown from 15 yards out and followed that up with a 62 yard connection between Brandon Weeden and Josh Gordon.
Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 200 yards on 30 carries, and Victor Cruz found the end zone three times as the Giants improved to 3-2 on the season.
Key to Victory: Dominance with the running game
This is a team led by one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League. When Eli Manning gets 244 yards on 32 carries from his running backs, the Giants are going to be extremely difficult to beat regardless of who the opponent is. Ahmad Bradshaw took out his frustration on the Browns defense after an early fumble, dropping 200 yards on the Cleveland defense and really setting the tone for the New York offense for the first time in quite some time. The Giants third down efficiency took a step forward with the success on the ground making third down more manageable and opening up the playbook, as they converted six of eleven times.
- One of the better all around games we've seen from this Giants offensive line in a long time. More aggression and more of an attacking approach after the team got off to a sluggish start. This unit has to build on this game.
- Stevie Brown was Johnny on the spot in his opportunity with Kenny Phillips out with injury. Big, momentum changing interception followed by a fumble recovery after a great Will Hill play to force a fumble on a kickoff. Outstanding job capitalizing on mistakes.
- You think Rueben Randle took the criticism from his teammates seriously? The rookie came out and led New York in receptions, clearly motivated to redeem himself after seemingly disappointing some of the guys in the locker room. Way to start. If the Giants can get this type of play from him going forward, the Giants are going to be stacked with weapons at Eli Manning's disposal when Hakeem Nicks returns to the lineup, particularly with the way Hixon has played as well.
- Only three penalties from the Giants on the game for 25 yards while the Browns shot themselves in the foot with 10. Tom Coughlin wants to see that every game.
- Victor Cruz's knack for finding the end zone isn't a coincidence. He is extremely quick off the line of scrimmage, very elusive and agile, and it's just difficult for defensive backs to keep receivers like that away from big plays for four quarters.
- Eli Manning continues to play at an incredibly high level. His interception came on what was essentially a dropped ball, and once again, he remained in control with the Giants behind 14 on the scoreboard, completely focused and sharp and was able to move his team down the field with consistency. It's just fun to watch isn't it?
- Think David Wilson is finally out of the doghouse after his electric returns last week and big play touchdown this week? You're starting to see some of the immense physical talent with the rookie and hopefully he can build on the confidence he's gotten going the past two games.
- It's getting disturbing just how invisible this New York Giants pass rush has been. Pierre-Paul, Tuck, Umenyiora, and Kiwanuka are all out there. All relatively healthy. But the job just isn't getting done. This is one of the core strengths of this football team – and it has suddenly disappeared? New York just is not going to be able to beat the top teams in this league with their pass rush playing this way and those four guys know that. It's on them to turn this thing around. Five weeks into the season now and very little to show for it.
- Bad angles to the football and missed tackles are hurting the Giants against the ground game and short passes to the backs and tight ends. The defense just looks a little lifeless right now for New York.
- New York has got to cut back the turnovers. They got away with it in this game, but against better teams with better offenses they can't afford to give up points and field position the way they have as of late.
- Yes the pass rush hasn't produced and they need to make more of an impact up front for this defense to succeed, but it wasn't much better in the secondary on Sunday. These Giants defensive backs have got to do a better job tracking the ball in the air – it's been a problem all season to this point. They can't continue to give up big play touchdowns through the air and just wait for Eli Manning to match.
PLAYER OF THE GAME - RB Ahmad Bradshaw
You can't give it to anyone else after that tough, inspired performance we saw from #44. He plays with a ton of heart and he was about as productive as you can ask of a running back on Sunday. 200 on 30 carries on bruising runs that just demoralized this Browns defense.
OVERALL PERFORMANCE GRADE
Very ugly start for the Giants, but they turned it around and did a lot of good things offensively. Particularly on the ground, which made Eli Manning that much more difficult to contend with for the Browns. On the other side of the ball, there is a lot to be concerned with. The Giants have got to get more aggressive and energetic on defense to start. Play physical and have fun. Get excited about making a play. Get your teammates going. Start there and things can quickly start to get rolling defensively when the energy and confidence gets going.
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