5 Random Thoughts on New York Giants’ Win over Cleveland Browns
The New York Giants played the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in what basically amounted to a must-win game. You never like to place more of an emphasis on a certain game because they are all important, but with how difficult the Giants' schedule is, the Giants cannot afford to lose games to bad teams this year. Make no mistake about it, the Browns are a bad team.
They proved it on Sunday. Despite taking an early 14-0 and a 17-7 lead into the second quarter, the Giants stormed back mostly on the heels of some Browns mistakes. Two turnovers led to 14 points in the second quarter, and the Giants added three more after a bone-headed pass interference with four seconds left in the half to take a 27-17 lead into halftime.
After that 14-0 early deficit, the Giants outscored the Browns 41-13, flexing their offensive muscle by feeding Ahmad Bradshaw and finding Victor Cruz in the red zone. Bradshaw had a career high 200 yards and a touchdown and Cruz salsa-danced three times on the day. It doesn't get much better from an offensive stand point.
The performance by the defense leaves much to be desired; they have the offense to thank for Browns coach Pat Shurmur having to go away from Trent Richardson. If it weren't for the big lead in the second half, the Browns could have afforded to keep feeding him the rock, and Richardson was gashing the defense in the first half.
The Giants failed to record a sack in this game, further raising concerns about the defensive line and their ability to get pressure without bringing blitzes. It's starting to become a real concern, and even the defensive line admits teams are figuring them out and they have to change their approach. It will be on defensive coordinator Perry Fewell to figure out the problem, because the defense won't stop many decent offenses playing the way they did yesterday.
So the following is five random thoughts about the Giants' win. Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with any of them.
Rueben Randle the Latest Giants Player with a Breakout Performance
Rueben Randle did most of his damage in the first half, and specifically on the Giants’ first touchdown drive, but he had a terrific day. The 2012 second-round draft pick led the team with six catches for 82 yards, helping make up for Hakeem Nicks’ absence. He is the latest in a run of young guys who have been taking advantage of opportunities, joining Andre Brown and Ramses Barden.
David Wilson is out of Tom Coughlin’s Dog House
David Wilson did not get involved in the offense too much until the game was out of hand, but in the short time he did play he was impressive. He had a 40-yard touchdown run late in the game that sealed the victory for the Giants, which could take him out of Tom Coughlin’s dog house. Coughlin may not have a choice with Brown leaving the game with an apparent concussion.
Giants Cannot Afford to Keep Starting Slow
Mostly for my own sanity, the Giants cannot afford to keep starting slow in their games. The two times they’ve done that and been able to come back and win were against awful teams. They did not get much of anything going against the Philadelphia Eagles last week in the first half and it came back to bite them in the rear.
Bradshaw fumbled on the first play of the game and the Browns turned that into a quick touchdown, and then got a big play from Josh Gordon on their next drive. It was 14-0 before five minutes of the game had gone by. Luckily for the Giants they have Eli Manning, who brought the Giants back with some help from Bradshaw. They won’t be so lucky against better teams.
The Defensive Line is Not Playing Well
The Giants have a problem on their hands if their talented defensive line does not start getting pressure on the quarterback. In five games this season, the defensive line has just 5.5 sacks. The team has eight sacks as a whole and was held without a sack for the first time this season against the Browns. They cannot afford to play like this against better teams, especially with a banged up secondary.
Ahmad Bradshaw Atones for Fumble with Monster Game
Bradshaw ran like a man possessed after the early fumble allowed seven easy points for the Browns. He ended the game with 30 carries for 200 yards and a touchdown. It was the ninth best performance in franchise history and a career day for Bradshaw. His performance was helped a bit with injuries to D’Qwell Jackson and Dimitri Patterson, who are big pieces in Cleveland’s run defense. I’m not taking anything away from Bradshaw, but I’m also not ready to declare the Giants’ run game back, yet.