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Giants Q&A: Big Blue gets last laugh on Trent Richardson

David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants

David Wilson #22 of the New York Giants celebrates his fourth quarter touchdown against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium. (Oct. 7, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Trent Richardson had said he thought he would run for "good yardage" and "have some success" against the Giants' rushing defense. Did he?

He finished with 81 yards on 17 carries but gained only 14 yards on four carries in the second half. The Giants may not have shut him down, but they did manage to get the last word in on the mini-feud. "Knowing when to say something and when not to is part of [learning for a rookie]," Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "All I know is we did enough to win the game . . . You can say whatever you want coming in; just make sure you come out with the win if you do."

How did the Giants eventually stop Richardson?

Part of it had to do with the Browns needing to pass while trailing for the entire second half, but the Giants also recognized that Richardson was doing a lot of the same things LeSean McCoy did against them last week with cutbacks and edge rushes. "They were trying to play into that," starting linebacker Spencer Paysinger said, "so we had to shore up our stuff on the ends and pretty much constrict him into a box."

Hang on. Back up. Spencer Paysinger was the starting linebacker?

Yes. Michael Boley was limited because of a hip injury, especially in the first part of the game, but eventually loosened up and was more active. That wasn't until after Paysinger got the start, though, and played about a dozen or so snaps in the base defense. "It felt really good," said Paysinger, who knew he would start early in the week. "I had some butterflies in there my first play but I felt like I settled in pretty well."

Was that David Wilson sprinting through the Browns' defense in the fourth quarter on a 40-yard touchdown run?

Maybe. It was too fast to tell. "I could literally hear him as he went by," guard Chris Snee said. "It sounded pretty fast."

Seriously, it was Wilson, right?

Yes. The reason the rookie got two carries was because Andre Brown left the game with a concussion after a first-quarter kickoff return. The reason he got only two carries was because the Giants wanted to keep Ahmad Bradshaw on the field to give him a shot at a career-high 200 yards (a total he reached with a 12-yard run on his 30th and final carry just after the two-minute warning). Wilson, who had flashed his speed on special teams last week, finally made a contribution to the offense. "Obviously, he's a nice change," Tom Coughlin said. Wilson punctuated the touchdown with a back flip in the end zone.

Did he do anything else to celebrate?

He thanked his offensive linemen. "I said, 'Hopefully that's one of many,' " Snee said.

Why couldn't Coughlin challenge the spot of the ball that set up a fourth-and-inches for the Browns in the third quarter?

A coach can challenge the spot only on a play that results in an on-field ruling of a first down. Because the play, a 1-yard pass to Chris Ogbonnaya, was spotted at the 36 and set up fourth-and-inches, it was unchallengeable.

Shouldn't a coach of his stature and experience know that?

Yes, and he said he did know that. He still threw the red challenge flag, more as a political statement and to "create more attention to it" than as an actual challenge. "I was afraid they weren't going to come over if I didn't," he said. "I was trying to raise holy heck over there."

Why did Osi Umenyiora bolt out of the locker room afterward?

Because his son, Tijani, 5, had been hospitalized with an asthma attack. He left in such an understandable hurry that few of his teammates even knew there was something wrong or saw him dash out. The Giants later announced that Tijani had been released from the hospital.

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