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A sequence of plays in the second quarter turned Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns in the direction of the New York Giants.
The New York Giants were trying to dig themselves out of an early 14-0 hole in the second quarter, but things were not looking good. The Giants had fought back within 17-10, but the Browns were slicing up the Giants' defense and had driven to the Giants 25-yard line with 4:41 left in the half.
The Browns faced a third-and-one at that point, and then they did a curious thing. They took running back Trent Richardson, who had been having his way with the sieve-like Giants' run defense out of the game, and decided to throw the ball.
Rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden threw a horrible ball high and behind wide receiver Josh Gordon and Giants' safety Stevie Brown made a terrific interception, returning the ball to the Cleveland 40-yard line. Two plays later, the Giants tied the score on a 4-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw.
Weeden called the interception "stupid" on his part:
"We were trying to get off the line quick, and get a quick shot to the flat, and they covered it well. I was just trying to make a play; it was stupid. I should've airmailed it; let Phil (Dawson) kick a field goal. That was obviously one throw I want back. That was a frustrating one for me."
On the ensuing kickoff Will Hill knocked the ball away from Cleveland return man Josh Cribbs, Brown recovered and set the giants up at the Browns's 29-yard line. Five plays later Eli Manning hit Victor Cruz for a 7-yard touchdown, giving the Giants a 24-17 lead they would never relinquish.
Did the Browns make a mistake not putting the ball in Richardson's hands on that third-and-one play? Your thoughts?