Giants-Browns: New York Takes a Giant Step Back

Ryan HoganCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2008

The NFC East suffered another big upset Monday night as the New York Giants lost their first game of season, 35-14, to the then 1-3 Cleveland Browns.

At the start of the game, the Cleveland fans seemed apprehensive—like they were waiting for something bad to happen to their team. While the disaster never came, the first quarter was a disappointment for the Browns: They amassed over 120 yards of total offense, controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes, forced one turnover, but committed three penalties and had only three points to show for their efforts.

Giants scored the game’s first touchdown early in the second quarter on a Brandon Jacobs seven-yard run. Jacobs finished the game with 67 yards on 14 rushes. His backfield mate, Derrick Ward, had 101 yards and 10 carries.

It looked like the champs were about to assert their dominance.

However, on the next possession, beleaguered Browns’ quarterback Derek Anderson found Braylon Edwards for a 70-yard reception. Two plays later, Jamal Lewis punched the ball into the end zone on a four-yard run. Browns took a 10-7 lead and never trailed again.

The game was still in doubt in the middle of the fourth quarter, but Eric Wright picked off Eli Manning and returned the football 94 yards for a touchdown. It was Manning’s third interception of the game. Manning finished 18-for-28, with 198 yards and one touchdown pass.

The Browns entered the game with the league’s second worst offense but gained 454 total yards. Anderson was efficient, with dashes of big plays sprinkled in. His final line: 18-for-29, 310 yards and two touchdown passes. Edwards had five catches for 154 yards and one touchdown.

Browns played sloppy at times dropping passes and committing 10 penalties, but they did have three scoring drives longer than 70 yards.

The Giants’ vaunted pass rush failed to sack Anderson. The Giants’ defense also failed to force a turnover or a punt.

Returning from a one-game suspension, Plaxico Burress had four catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.

The Dallas Cowboys lost to the Arizona Cardinals, 30-24, and the Washington Redskins fell to the St Louis Rams, 19-17. The Philadelphia Eagles were the only NFC East team, arguably football’s toughest division, to log a win in Week Six, as the Eagles defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 40-26.