Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Five key plays that changed the game
By Matt Ehalt
Here are the top five plays, in chronological order, from Sunday's 41-27 Giants win over the Browns.
1. Cruzing. The Giants trailed 14-0, but Eli Manning led a methodical drive and put the G-Men at the Browns' 3-yard-line in the first quarter. On a play-action pass, he found Cruz in the right side of the end zone to slice Cleveland's lead to 14-7. It was the first of what would be three passing touchdowns from Manning to Cruz and really seemed to galvanize the offense.
2. Stevie Wonder. The Browns led 17-10, and seemed like they would add a few more points, as they faced a 3rd-and-1 at the Giants' 25 in the second quarter. Cleveland went to the air and rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden overthrew his receiver -- it landed right in the arms of Stevie Brown, who returned it into Browns territory. Brown was starting in place of the injured Kenny Phillips and did a great job.
3. Turnover. The Giants quickly responded with a touchdown after Brown's interception, and on the ensuing kickoff Will Hill poked the ball loose from Josh Cribbs and Brown recovered the ball to give the Giants premium field position. Manning later found Cruz to give the Giants a 24-17 lead, and they never looked back. Big Blue would later get the ball back and tack on another field goal to lead 27-17 at the half.
4. Interception. The Giants led 34-20 in the fourth quarter, and the Browns faced a 3rd-and-goal at the Giants' 10. Weeden tried to hit Ben Watson in the middle, but linebacker Chase Blackburn -- who was beaten on an earlier touchdown pass -- intercepted the ball in the end zone. Cleveland had its chance to get back in the game, as there was plenty of time left, but the interception all but sealed the Browns' fate.
5. Rookie time.David Wilson finally showcased why the Giants valued him so much in the draft. The rookie took an ordinary handoff and burst 40 yards for his first NFL score, giving New York a three-touchdown lead. Wilson burst out of the hole, and as soon as he got into the open field the Browns had no chance of catching him. This run could perhaps lead to more carries in the future.