- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- History always seems destined to repeat itself. The Giants, who have struggled in 1 p.m. home games against inferior opponents in the past, got into a 14-0 hole against the 0-4 Cleveland Browns. However, Big Blue has since righted the ship and carried a 27-17 lead into the locker room.
A look back at the first half:
TAKING THEIR CANDY: Trent Richardson has certainly been up for Osi Umenyiora’s challenge. Cleveland’s electric rookie running back, who has been tough to tackle all afternoon, has racked up 89 all-purpose yards (67 rushing, 22 catching). His 15-yard touchdown run gave the Browns a 7-0 lead 52 seconds in.
BLACKBURNED: Chase Blackburn got beat in coverage by Josh Gordon, who hauled in a 62-yard touchdown pass to give Cleveland a 14-0 lead 4:57 into play. On the play, Blackburn inexplicably got no safety help over the top.
BAD START: On the Giants’ first play from scrimmage, Ahmad Bradshaw ran into Chris Snee’s shoulder pad and fumbled. The Browns recovered at New York’s 22. Two plays later, they scored. Bradshaw has since turned it around and finished the first half with 15 carries for 80 yards and a score.
ZERO: That’s how many sacks the Giants have had on Sunday, after recording just two against Philadelphia.
WHY? The Giants got to Cleveland’s 11 during a second-quarter drive by running it with Bradshaw. Then they decided to pass the ball three straight times -- unsuccessfully -- and had to settle for a field goal.
RUBEN’S REWARD: With Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden both out of the lineup due to injuries, rookie wideout Ruben Randle has stepped up. The first-year pro caught five passes for 78 yards in the first half.
SALSA TIME: Eli Manning’s (15-for-22, 179 yards, 2 TDs) three-yard play-action pass to Victor Cruz got the Giants on the board at the 3:32 mark of the opening period. The TD capped off an 11-play, 92-yard drive.
STEVIE ON THE SPOT: Safety Stevie Brown, filling in for the injured Kenny Phillips intercepted a second-quarter pass by rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden and returned to 46 yards, which set up Bradshaw’s game-tying touchdown. Brown then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, which was caused by Will Hill. Cruz then caught a seven-yard TD pass to give the Giants their first lead of the game, 24-17, with 1:10 left to play in the half.