Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
The New York Giants came up inches short last week. The Cleveland Brownshave been coming up short for years. The two teams meet Sunday as the host Giants try to rebound from a last-second loss, facing off against a well-rested Browns’ team aiming to end a 10-game losing streak.
New York’s two-game winning streak came to an end Sunday night as it lost 19-17 to division rival Philadelphia when Lawrence Tynes’ 54-yard field goal fell short. The Browns have had 10 days to prepare after a hard-fought 23-16 loss to Baltimore last Thursday. Both teams will likely be without key players.
Cleveland star cornerback Joe Haden will serve the final game of his four-game ban for violating the league’s drug policy. The man he would likely be assigned to cover, Giants’ receiver Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot), is unlikely to play for a third straight week.
Cleveland Browns(0-4): Cleveland, which is 0-4 for the third time since 1998, hasn’t won since last November. While the offense has its own issues, it’s clear the defense sorely misses Haden. Joe Flacco passed for 356 yards and the combination of Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin torched the Browns’ shorthanded secondary for 15 catches, 228 yards and a touchdown.
Rookie QB Brandon Weeden has shown marked improvement as the season has progressed, but his poor throw on an out route against Baltimore led to Cary Williams’ back-breaking 63-yard interception return.
Overall, the Browns have struggled to generate offense (18.2 ppg) and are lacking playmakers aside from RB Trent Richardson, who leads AFC rookies with 222 rushing yards and has a rushing touchdown in three straight games. Dynamic KR/WR Josh Cribbs, who was knocked unconscious on a kickoff return against the Ravens, returned to practice Wednesday and is listed as probable.
New York Giants(2-2): The Giants were unable to corral Michael Vick when they did have a shot at him Sunday night in Philadelphia. They were even less effective in their attempts to stop LeSean McCoy, who ran for 121 of his 123 yards in the second half.
The banged-up secondary took another hit as safety Kenny Phillips suffered a sprained MCL. He is listed as doubtful. As for the offense, it looked out-of-synch against Philadelphia. Eli Manning, who was under duress a majority of the night, finished 24-of-42 for 309 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Manning is second in the NFL with 1,320 yards.
He’ll once again be without Nicks, who has missed the last two games due to foot and knee injuries. Domenik Hixon filled in nicely with six catches for 114 yards against the Eagles and Victor Cruz, who leads the league in catches (32) and is fifth in yards (388), hauled in nine passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.
1. This is the first meeting since 2008, when the Browns ended a four-game losing streak to the Giants with a 35-14 victory. Cleveland intercepted Manning three times.
2. The 28-year-old Weeden set a Browns’ rookie record with 320 yards last week.
3. Manning has won seven straight starts against the AFC dating to last season.