The 0-4 Cleveland Browns travel to East Rutherford on Sunday to meet up with the defending super bowl champion New York Giants. Both teams are coming off hard fought losses against division rivals. At this point the Browns are beyond desperate for a victory.
10 days ago against Baltimore the Browns may have played their best all around game of the season. Weeden made some impressive throws and with more help from Greg Little his numbers would have looked much better. It was a mistake late in the game that really bit them when Weeden threw a pick 6. Those mistakes are going to have to be limited if the Browns have an inclination of competing later today.
The Giants have a lot of players sidelined for this one even though, that never seems to slow them down. Unfortunately two of Weeden’s receivers are out as well, with Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin ruled out. This is going to make things very difficult on offense. The matchup to watch is Joe Thomas against Jason Pierre-Paul. If the Giants pass rush can be contained it is possible to throw successfully against them especially with Kenny Phillips out. Once again the Browns need to look to get Trent Richardson involved early and often. I thought once again against Baltimore Childress was giving Weeden too much responsibility at times.
Defensively, the Browns can play well as they showed last week against Baltimore. If they can stop the Giants run game which is not impossible they could maybe make things tough on Eli. That is the issue, stopping the guy who is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL right now. Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden are out so Eli is missing a few of his key weapons. Billy Wynn needs to duplicate his performance that he had last Thursday if Cleveland is going to have a chance.
Every once in a while the Giants play poorly against a team they should beat and let’s be honest this is a team they should handle easily. With 10 days to prepare and New York coming off an emotional Sunday night loss this could play to the Browns advantage. The Browns have nothing to lose at this point so expect maybe some quirky plays offensively and them taking a lot of shots down the field against a depleted Giants secondary. The Browns could keep this close but I do not see them pulling it out late. Giants 30- Browns 21.