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Giants grades: solid effort against Cleveland Browns

David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants

David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants runs the ball past T.J. Ward #43 of the Cleveland Browns for a fourth quarter touchdown at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 7, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac


The Giants came into the game averaging 89.5 rushing yards per game and nearly tripled that with 243 on the ground. Ahmad Bradshaw had a career day with 200 of those rushing yards on 30 carries and also added four catches for another 29 yards. Bradshaw's runs made the play-action a viable option for them, and two of the three touchdown passes from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz came after a fake dive in proximity to the goal line. Manning completed 25 of 37 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns with one hard-luck interception.


It's hard to tell what was a larger factor in stopping Trent Richardson: the Giants' run defense or that the Browns were playing from behind and needed to pass in the second half. The Giants certainly did a better job of wrapping and swarming to the rookie running back in the second half. They're still not putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, though, and five games into the season it's becoming worrisome.


Will Hill had a good game on specials, forcing a fumble by Joshua Cribbs in the second quarter and then recovering an onside kick (with a trajectory Tom Coughlin called "kind of goofy") in the fourth when the Browns had cut the Giants' lead to two touchdowns. Steve Weatherford punted twice and had one touchback. Lawrence Tynes, who missed the game-winner last week, made kicks of 29 and 40 yards.


The sideline kept its cool when trailing 14-0 and 17-7, sticking with the game plan offensively and tweaking the run defense, particularly in the second half. The Giants staff also did a nice job of prepping some players who were starting (or playing extensively) for the first time, particularly on defense where Spencer Paysinger, Stevie Brown and Markus Kuhn were each making their first starts as Giants.

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