The strategy is simple, yet effective. Give the ball to Brandon Jacobs early and let him run through the defense and spell Jacobs' carries by giving the ball to the efficient Derrick Ward.
Enter the fourth quarter. In the backfield is the best seventh-round draft choice by the Giants in recent memory, Ahmad Bradshaw. The opposition's defense is dog tired from getting banged up by one of the most underrated offensive lines in football and run over by the Jacobs/Ward tandem. Bradshaw looks that much quicker than he actually is (which is very quick), and runs up, around, and through the defense.
Mainly, the success of the Giants rushing game can be attributed to the outstanding play of the offensive line (yes, I'm using the old cliche). Seriously, this Giants offensive line has been stellar over the last two years, and continues to improve week by week, especially with the tremendous work by guards Chris Snee and Rich Seubert which help lead the way for Jacobs' bone-bruising carries up the gut.
While the defense is trying to stop the run, quarterback Eli Manning goes to his favorite weapon, the play-action. Countless times Manning has found wide receiver Plaxico Burress (making his return after his one-game suspension) deep over the middle on the play fake for a touchdown. Don't be surprised if you see it happen Monday night.
Prime example: Giants opening possession last week against Seattle. The final two plays of the drive shows just how dangerous their offense is. Jacobs has a 44-yard run to the left side, following Snee as he led the way with downfield blocking. Next play, Manning goes up top and finds Dominik Hixon (who started for the suspended Burress) in the end zone for a 32-yard strike.
Simple, yet efficient.
The Browns' best bet would be to stack eight defenders in the box early and often. If they can take away the Giants run game immediately, their chances of winning the contest improve vastly, though this task is much easier said than done.
With that said, this is a Browns defense that has given up at least 117 yards on the ground in all three of their losses (allowed 69 rush yards against a winless Bengals team in their win last week). This is a mismatch that favors the Giants immensely.
Giants win 31-17.