Team Giants


Giants - Browns
Game 11 preview
Sunday Nov 27, 1:00 PM - Giants at Browns

Giants (7-3) vs Browns (0-11)
Last week the Cleveland Browns were down 14-0 at halftime. The Browns managed to score 9 points in the second half, but with the Steelers adding 10 more, they ended up with a 24-9 loss.
The Giants were down 16-9 at halftime to the Chicago Bears. Their defense clamped down and held the Bears scoreless for the second half. Meanwhile the Giants added 13 points to secure a 22-16 win.
Giants - Bengals Wrap-Up

Cleveland Browns
The Browns have finished below .500 for the last eight seasons. Mike Pettine gave them some hope at the end of the 2014 season with a 7-9 record in his second year as head coach, but after the team finished at 3-13 in 2015 he was replaced. After going through three first-time head coaches in four years, management chose someone who's previously had that experience. Hue Jackson had coached the Raiders in 2011 to an 8-8 record and he got the job. Right now the Browns have an 0-11 record for a franchise record 14 losses in a row, and a 3-29 record over the past 32 games. Changes were made in the offseason, and in rebuilding their offense, the Browns were after a quarterback. They signed Robert Griffin III when he became available.

Cleveland Browns Quarterbacks
The Browns liked what they saw in Robert Griffin III, and still could have taken Carson Wentz with their No. 2 overall pick in the draft, but instead traded with the Philadelphia Eagles for five draft picks. The Browns did pick up quarterback Cody Kessler in the third round. The way things have worked out, Griffin was hurt during the first game of the season, and placed on injured reserve. Backup Josh McCown started, and couldn't lift his left arm by the end of the next game. Cleveland then started rookie Kessler at quarterback, and even wide receiver Terrelle Pryor threw some passes in their third game at Miami.
In game 5 against the Patriots, Kessler had to leave after a hard hit, and journeyman Charlie Whitehurst took over. Whitehurst suffered a knee injury, and was cut with an injury settlement the following Tuesday.
Kessler was sacked six times in the following game, and suffered a concussion in game 7. Undrafted rookie Kevin Hogan became the Browns' sixth quarterback of the season.
McCown filled in for the loss to the Jets, and Kessler returned for the Cowboys, and was limping after the game. Kessler started in Baltimore in the next game with McCown playing as well, and then sustained his second concussion this season last week. McCown came in to finish, and
he will start against the Giants as Griffin is back, but not yet cleared to play.

Cleveland Browns Offense
The offensive line took a hit when they allowed right tackle Mitchell Schwartz to leave through free agency. They also lost center Alex Mack to the Falcons. Even with those two top starters, the Browns allowed 123 quarterback hits, the most of any team last season. They continue to 'lead' in that category with 92 so far after 11 games. They're also the worst in allowing sacks with 38, already 9 more than all last season. The Steelers came to Cleveland with a league-low 13 sacks, and knocked Cody Kessler out of the game with a late hit after sacking him four times, and they put four more on Josh McCown.
Their best receiver is Terrelle Pryor, a former college quarterback, who leads the Browns with 56 catches for 724 yards and 4 touchdowns. He's actually in the top twelve in receptions in the NFL, despite the team having a porous offensive line and with all their quarterback chaos. Pryor would be a deep threat if there were any stability in the quarterback position. Isaiah Crowell leads the team with 561 yards on 129 carries for a 4.3 average, but
has averaged less than 3 yards a carry in six of his last seven games, and in four of those he averaged less than 2 yards a carry. Last week McCown ran for 11 yards, and was actually the team's leading rusher as the Browns managed just 33 yards on the ground.

Cleveland Browns Defense
The defense shows spirit, sometimes too much. In the loss to the Steelers, back to back penalties put the Steelers on the Browns half-yard line at the end of the first half, and they were able to score their only offensive touchdown of the game. They held Ben Roethlisberger to a season low 167 passing yards, maybe with a little help from the windy conditions, but much better than their 266 a game average, which is a bit worse than last year's. Their rushing defense has digressed even more so to 144 yards a game. Steelers Le'Veon Bell ran for 146 yards on 28 carries, and he had eight receptions for 55 yards.
This could work to the favor of the Giants who especially struggle in that area. Linebacker Jamie Collins has been a boost to the defense. Collins was recently acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots, and has had 26 tackles in the three games he's played. Cornerback Pro Bowler Joe Haden leads the team with three interceptions, but is working through nagging groin injuries. This unit can get it together at times, but overall they are
ranked next to last in terms of yardage and points given up per game.

Giants offense
Last week we said, points, the Giants need to score some. Let's visit that again. The Giants wins this season have been by one, three, four, seven, five, one and six, and it's not because of the defense. The Giants are allowing 20 points a game which has them ranking 11th in the NFL. Eli Manning is one of the most skilled passers playing the game, but teams have figured out how to cover his receivers, especially his top one. After Odell Beckham Jr. scared defenses with his 8 catches for a career-high 222 yards, and 2 touchdowns in the win over Baltimore, his average in the last four games has been 6 catches for 60 yards, and he's had three touchdowns over that span.
It's still costly to put the restraints on Beckham, as the Giants have won those games with Manning turning to others. With Beckham covered, Sterling Shepard was Manning's top target last week, and he has scored the game winning touchdown in the past two games. Rashad Jennings has also been tapped as a pass catcher, and last week had 5 receptions to go with his season-high 21 carries last week as the Giants continue to improve in that area.
Justin Pugh has missed two straight games, and he will miss this game as well.

Giants defense
In the last two games, opposing teams have scored touchdowns in their opening drives. It's dangerous to give opposing teams a shot of confidence right from the start. It's not good news that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has missed practices this week, and is listed as questionable for this game. He's tied for the team lead with 4 sacks, and leads the team with 14 quarterback hits. Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon combined for 3.5 sacks and seven hurries last week. They, along with Damon Harrison and Jonathan Hankins, buckled down in the second half and held Jordan Howard to only 7 yards.
Janoris Jenkins usually covers the top receivers, and
on Sunday that would be Terrelle Pryor, who has been one of the league's most targeted ones. There's also Corey Coleman, the 15th overall pick who had 7 catches for 173 yards, and 2 touchdowns in the first two games, before suffering a broken right hand. He's working his way back, and could have done better for being targeted 12 times last week. Tight end Gary Barnidge is one of those pass receiving tight ends the Giants usually have trouble with. Safety Landon Collins has intercepted passes now in four straight games, and should be up to the challenge as well as cornerback Eli Apple who turned in a solid performance last week.

Let's face it. The biggest fear any opposing team has at this point is being ridiculed for giving the 0-11 Cleveland Browns their first win of the season. The last time the Browns won a game was in December 2015. The Giants have been wining games, and winning lots of games gets you into the playoffs. It's how you win them that will get you into the Super Bowl. This is one they should be able to control from start to finish. It's the Giants game to win or lose, and it's hard to see them losing this one.

NFC East Games
Thursday at 4:30pm Redskins (6-3-1) at Cowboys (9-1)
Sunday at 1:00pm Giants (7-3) at Browns (0-11)
Monday at 8:30pm Packers (4-6) at Eagles (5-5)
The Giants, Cowboys and Eagles are the NFC East teams favored to win in these games.
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Giants have not won by more than a touchdown since Nov. 8, 2015 at Tampa Bay, 32-18.

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Giants did not commit a turnover last week, ending their NFL-long streak of 18 consecutive games with one.

Giants backup quarterback Ryan Nassib's brother, Carl, is a rookie defensive lineman on the Browns.

Browns have won only three games since Nov. 23, 2014.

Browns current 53-man roster includes 19 rookies, and 10 players with two seasons of experience or less.

Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, a converted quarterback, has thrown nine passes, completing five.

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