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
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
”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
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
”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
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
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
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
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
”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
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
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