Wins are wins. You don’t apologize for them. You don’t give them back. Even when they are sometimes less than fully satisfying, which is probably a good way to describe the New York Giants’ 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday The Giants have eight victories so far this season, and only three teams have more.
Still, the Giants acknowledged after beating the Browns that they have to play better than they have in recent weeks.
“We could’ve played way better today,” said defensive end Olivier Vernon. “I’m glad we got the win, but we still have a lot of work to do to play a full phase football game. All we can do now is look forward to Pittsburgh.”
The Giants finished with 296 yards and tied their season-low with 13 first downs. They possessed the ball for just 26:09 to Cleveland’s 33:51. They ran only 56 offensive plays to the Browns’ 75. Eli Manning passed for three touchdowns, but only 194 yards with a season-low net of 192 passing yards.
“It was tough,” Manning said. “Tough to move the ball consistently. They had a good plan for us. They showed a lot of the same looks. It was just tough to make some plays. Had some opportunities and looks to make some. We had to come up with them. It was one of those days where they were kind of giving us some shots down the field and you have to hit them. We hit a couple of them, but we have to be able to hit more of those. Just be able to find completions and run the ball consistently. Have to move the ball better than we did today.”
The Giants were penalized nine times for 100 yards, including a holding call that nullified a 59-yard Odell Beckham Jr. punt return for a touchdown. Bobby Rainey muffed a punt, leading to a Cleveland field goal.
“Too many penalties, for one thing,” said Giants coach Ben McAdoo. “The type of game it was, I thought we had some moments where we ran the ball well, but we were inconsistent there. At times, pass protection was good and at times, it wasn’t. The way they were playing coverage, we needed a little time to beat it. We had some opportunities to make some big plays in the ballgame and we didn’t make them. Just inconsistent and penalties.”
“I feel like we came out and were sloppy altogether,” said defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. “We played on their level. We’re going to correct it. Just look at film and correct it. Those guys knew that. Kelvin Shepard told us that it wasn’t a great win and we have to get better. It wasn’t a great win and we do have to get better. That’s the important thing, just to get better.”
- “Kudos & Wet Willies” review
- NFC playoff picture
- POLL: Should Odell Beckham be returning punts?
- Five things we learned about the Giants on Sunday
Some of the following items were provided by Pro Football Focus, others by the Giants’ PR Department.
- Giants’ running backs failed to break a single tackle in 24 rushing attempts (15 by Rashad Jennings, nine by Paul Perkins). They averaged 2.2 yards after contact.
- The Giants rank 12th, per PFF, in pass protection among the 30 teams who have played in Week 12. They allowed only seven pressures in 29 drop backs. Left tackle Ereck Flowers surrendered four of those pressures.
- The Giants’ 8-3 record is their best since they were 10-1 in 2008.
- The 14-point margin of victory was the Giants’ largest of the season, and it was their first by double digits.
- The Giants’ seven sacks was their most in a game since they had seven against the Washington Redskins Dec. 14, 2014. They now have 25 this season, two more than they had all of last season.