Giants Crush Browns, 41-27
East Rutherford, N.J. – The Giants roared back from spotting the Cleveland Browns 14 first-quarter points within the game’s first five minutes en route to a 41-27 win at MetLife Stadium.
The mistake filled-first quarter saw the Browns jump out to a 14-0 lead within four and half minutes before both sides of the ball eventually settled down and played Giants football.
“It’s obviously not the way you want to start, but we never get down or frustrated or start to panic,” said quarterback Eli Manning. ”We didn’t force things and took what the defense had given us. The defense got us some turnovers and special teams got us a turnover. We were able to take advantage of that and get touchdowns, and guys made some big plays for us.”
Those big plays included two by safety Stevie Brown, who started in place of the injured Kenny Phillips. The first was an interception of Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden’s pass intended for receiver Josh Gordon which Brown returned 46 yards to set the stage for a drive ending with a four-yard touchdown run by running back Ahmad Bradshaw.
That play came not long after Brown had blown the coverage on receiver Josh Gordon’s 62-yard touchdown reception that put the Browns up 14-0, a play in which Brown’s mistake left linebacker Chase Blackburn against Gordon.
“I knew I wanted to get back, get another turnover for the team, for doing that,” said Brown. “At the same time, I don’t want to press, because whenever you start pressing and you try to make a play, that’s when you give up more plays. So, I was trying to be able to do what I could do, through the framework of the defense.”
“We should start games at a deficit because it seems to get us woken up and starting to play,” said defensive end Justin Tuck of the first of Brown’s two big plays. “That play was a huge momentum shift for us. He made a great play on the ball and returned it to back to a position where our offense could punch it in and that kind of got us rolling.”
Brown also came up with another key play, this time on special teams, when he pounced on a fumble that had been stripped from Browns kickoff return specialist Josh Cribbs by Will Hill. Brown alertly picked up the ball and took it back to Cleveland’s 29-yard line to set up Manning’s seven-yard touchdown pass to receiver Victor Cruz.
Not to be forgotten was the performance by the Giants running game. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who saw his workload increase after teammate Andre Brown went down with a head injury in the first quarter, recorded new career highs in both touches (30) and rushing yards (200) while rookie David Wilson added 44 yards to the Giants’ total of 243, the result of a one-yard loss by Manning during the fourth quarter kneel-down.
“I was excited because we were planning on running the ball a lot and it’s a blessing in the skies,” said Bradshaw. “My hat goes off to my lineman; they did a great job. There were holes everywhere. All I did was just run.”
The win is a huge one for the Giants, who were in danger of falling to 2-3 had they looked past the Browns and to their next opponent, the 49ers.
“We knew this was a game that we needed to win,” said Stevie Brown. “San Francisco coming up next, that’s a great team. We weren’t looking ahead or anything like that, but you definitely don’t want to go out there down 2-3. We had a slow start, but bounced back, played hard, and this gives us momentum heading into next week.”