GIANTS 27 / BROWNS 13
Big Blue's ugly ways continued this week, and it almost led to the Cleveland Browns finding a way to get their first win of the year. While Big Blue won this game by two scores, had the Giants not cashed in on a couple of huge turnovers this ugly win could have easily become an ugly loss.
Tis the life of Ben McAdoo's Giants. They love living on the edge of disaster and greatness. They are good enough to win six straight ball games inspite of their painfully obvious deficiencies. Let's break it down.
Invisible offense returns: The Giants offense was once again invisible for large chunks of this game against Cleveland. Midway through the second quarter the Giants mustered only 65 yards of offense against the Browns, which is totally inexcusable. At times the play calling was ultraconservative; in other instances, Eli Manning was just flat out off his game, throwing a handful of dreary incompletions and was sacked in the opening quarter.
Even when the Giants put up points in the second quarter, there was something amiss. There was no flow to the Giants attack all day. In fact in the third quarter alone, the Giants were held to 32 total yards of offense and punted four times. This hot-n-cold pattern has become way too prevalent for the Giants, and with a tough schedule ahead, they won't get away with it for much longer.
Odell Beckham had a huge afternoon: Beckham had a huge day for the Giants. One could argue that without him the Giants probably would have lost this game to Cleveland. Beckham had a 32-yard touchdown catch on second and ten from the Cleveland 32 with 1:13 to go before the half to give the Giants a 14-3 lead. Later, Beckham hauled in a 41-yard completion to move the football into Cleveland territory. Beckham would score the Giants final score of the day on a four-yard pass from Manning.
While Beckham was great, lets give a nod to Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepherd as well. Cruz had a 37-yard catch that set up the Giants second touchdown, and Shepherd had a 22-yard run on an end around to set up the final score of the day.
Jason Pierre-Paul: JPP had a huge afternoon for Big Blue, recording three sacks and had a 43-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown in the Giants victory. He deserves a lot of credit for coming back with vengeance this season after last year's 4th of July fireworks incident.
Josh McCown Stinks: How bad are the Browns? They are so bad that quarterback Josh McCown can't do the simple things right. Ask him to lead Cleveland on a scoring drive? Impossible. Ask him to get the Browns a much needed touchdown? Nearly impossible. This guy flat out stinks. Forget the fact he threw for 322 yards, McCown was sacked seven times and never got anything going for this Browns team. Cleveland regrets more and more for trading down in the draft to avoid taking Carson Wentz.
What is Next: The Giants are about to hit a very tough stretch in their season. At 8-3, the Giants are in control of their playoff fates, but with a trip to Pittsburgh upcoming, those plans could begin to get dashed quickly. The Giants are a flawed team, with an inconsistent offense and a defense that is prone to giving up the big play. This could be a total nightmare for the Giants this Sunday, and maybe for the entire month of December.
What to expect: Like I said, the Giants face Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington in the last five weeks of the year. Four of those teams are likely heading into the playoffs and will need wins against the Giants in order to get there. This season could spiral out of control really, really fast.