After a rough start and a 14-0 deficit the New York Giants roared back to beat the Cleveland Browns ,41-27, on Sunday. The Giants had seven scoring plays, but they are not all included in my five key plays, four of which came in the first half. When the second half started there was no doubt, at least in my mind, that the Giants were winning this game.
1. Eli Manning completes a 14-yard pass to Rueben Randle on 1st and 25, then gets a defensive pass interference on the following play
The previous play Ahmad Bradshaw was called for a questionable chop block, which is a 15- yard penalty. The Giants were looking at a first and 25 down 14-0 and looking like they would have to punt it back to Cleveland, when Manning connected with Randle for 14 yards on first down. The next play Manning went back to Randle to draw a defensive pass interference.
Then Randle had arrived. Eli goes back to Randle again on two consecutive plays for 23 yards. Four plays later the Giants had their first touchdown.
These plays were significant, because they settled the team down a bit, and it got Randle's feet wet. Randle went on to have a nice game.
2. Stevie Brown intercepts Brandon Weeden with the Browns driving for another early score
After the Giants first score, the Giants and Browns traded field goals, it was later into the second quarter and the Browns were leading the Giants 17-0, but were again driving. Brandon Weeden dropped back on third and one and was pressured up the middle when he overthrew Josh Gordon and was intercepted by safety Stevie Brown. Brown returned the ball 46 yards. Manning completed a big pass to Randle (again) and the Giants scored a touchdown to tie up the game at 17.
3. Will Hill forces a Josh Cribbs fumble on a kickoff following a Giants score
The Giants recover the football (Brown again). Five plays later Victor Cruz is doing his salsa in the end zone.
4. Buster Skrine commits a terrible defensive pass interference right before half
Skrine committed a defensive pass interference on Randle with four seconds left to go in the half that led to a Giants field goal. Game over. Terrible play by Skrine here.
5. David Wilson gets his first career touchdown
I hope no one is still panicking about the ability of David Wilson to contribute regularly on the NFL level. He's a terrific young player and will someday be an integral part of this offense. Something I've noticed with the Giants so far is every single time David Wilson enters the game he gets the ball. At some point, Wilson will have to be on the field for plays where he doesn't get the football. That will only help his development because right now I'd imagine defenses are keying on him when he enters the game.