Giants rally, keep Browns winless, 41-27

The difference between winners and losers in the NFL sometimes

comes down to dealing with tough times.

Ahmad Bradshaw and the New York Giants shrugged off their

mistakes Sunday, while the Cleveland Browns were burned by

them.

Bradshaw fumbled away his first carry of the game, then was

unstoppable in rushing for 200 yards and a touchdown in a 41-27

victory for the Super Bowl champions. Victor Cruz set a career best

with three TD catches from Eli Manning.

The Browns fell to 0-5 with their 11th consecutive loss because

they compounded one mistake with another, and then a few more.

”I stayed hard on myself after the fumble,” Bradshaw said. ”I

wanted to use it with the ball in my hand and I just ran angry

today.

”I was disappointed with the fumble, but you put it out of your

mind. I knew I was cool. We knew the running game was there, we

were confident.”

The Browns were self-destructive, which helps explain their

record. As does their youth; Cleveland is the league’s youngest

team, and many of the errors Sunday were made by NFL newcomers.

But they don’t want to hear about rookie mistakes.

”Not any more. Personally those are long gone,” quarterback

Brandon Weeden said. ”I’ve played five games now. It’s a tough

league with really good players. Sometimes you do exactly what you

want to do and it doesn’t go the way you wanted. It is

frustrating.

”I’ve never been on a losing team. I want to win so bad. Losing

hurts. I’ve got to find a way. I can’t put the team in tough

situations.”

He sure did against the Giants (3-2) as Cleveland matched the

franchise record for consecutive defeats.

Weeden was sharp for much of the first half, but made a terrible

decision on third-and-1 from the Giants 25. With third overall

draft pick running back Trent Richardson not on the field, Weeden

rolled out and forced a pass to fellow rookie Josh Gordon that

sailed high, directly to Stevie Brown. The backup safety sped down

the left sideline for 46 yards.

”I was trying to make a play. It was stupid,” Weeden said. ”I

should have airmailed it and let Phil (Dawson) kick a field goal.

That was the one throw I want back.”

On the next play, Manning found Rueben Randle – yet another

rookie – wide open on the left side for 36 more yards. Then

Bradshaw highlighted his big opening half with his TD run to tie it

at 17.

Veteran Joshua Cribbs made the next mistake for Cleveland,

fumbling the ensuing kickoff. Brown was on the spot again for the

recovery, and Cruz caught his second touchdown pass for New York’s

first lead.

The Browns weren’t finished handing away points. A pair of

penalties led to a punt, and a 24-yard pass interference against

Buster Skrine gave Lawrence Tynes a chance to kick a 40-yard field

goal as the half ended.

Cleveland had little chance to coming back for its first win

because it couldn’t handle Bradshaw or Cruz.

”We showed how resilient we are,” said Cruz, who entered the

game leading the NFL with 32 receptions and added five for 50

yards. ”We started off rough, getting behind the 8-ball a bit, but

we were able to keep our wits about us. We understand we’ll be able

to make some plays offensively.”

Bradshaw’s TD was on a 4-yard run. He darted inside and outside

and frequently broke feeble tackle attempts to easily beat the 132

yards he rushed for heading into the game.

Bradshaw and Cruz became the first tandem to rush for 200 yards

and catch three TD passes in a game since 1960, when the Cardinals’

John David Crow ran for 203 yards and Sonny Randle had three

touchdowns receiving.

The Giants are 9-0 in games he has rushed for 100 yards or more.

They rushed for 243 yards.

”I love this game more than anybody,” Bradshaw said. ”I put

all my heart into it and I just feel I’m one of the toughest out

there on the field.”

New York also forced three turnovers, including Chase

Blackburn’s interception in the end zone midway in the fourth

quarter to clinch it. That led to rookie David Wilson’s first NFL

touchdown, a 40-yard scamper, which Wilson celebrated with a flip

in the end zone.

Weeden, Cleveland’s other first-round pick, hit Gordon, on two

touchdown passes. But the Browns wound up with 10 penalties for 91

yards.

”We started out fast and got an early lead,” coach Pat Shurmur

said. ”We had a three-minute stretch before the end of the first

half that was, `Wow, you can’t do that against a good football

team.’ `’

Giants coach Tom Coughlin tied Bill Parcells for regular-season

coaching victories with the franchise, 77.

Cruz, Randle and Dominek Hixon stepped up nicely with Hakeem

Nicks and Ramses Barden sidelined Sunday.

”Whoever us ready to play is going to play and we showed

ourselves well today,” Cruz said.

Before their collapse, the Browns looked sharp as the Giants

made the gaffes that led to points.

Bradshaw fumbled when the ball hit guard Chris Snee’s shoulder

gave the Browns a quick break at the New York 22 and Richardson

took care of the yardage with runs of 7 and 15.

Wideout Gordon then beat double coverage, although with no

cornerback in sight, for a 62-yard score and a 14-0 edge that

didn’t last long.

NOTES: Cleveland lost MLB D’Qwell Jackson, one of its defensive

leaders, to a concussion. CB Dimitri Patterson hurt an ankle and DT

Ahtyba Rubin to a lower leg injury. Giants backup RB Andre Brown

left with a head injury and DE Osi Umenyiora left immediately after

the game to be with his son, who was hospitalized by an asthma

attack. … Richardson finished with 81 yards rushing and 47

receiving. … Weeden went 22 of 35 for 291 yards, while Manning

was 25 of 37 for 259. Manning has won eight straight against AFC

teams … Coughlin trails only Steve Owen, who coached the Giants

to 153 wins in 23 seasons. This is Coughlin’s ninth with New

York.

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