Both teams battled in joint practice sessions this week so starters largely did not play in Sunday’s game.
The offense was more productive than last week as the Giants averaged 5.2 yards per play and recorded a total of 308 offensive yards in the game.
On the defensive side of the ball, safety Xavier McKinney was the only Giants player starting on defense that will likely see significant playing time this season. Oshane Ximines, Julian Love, Reggie Ragland, Rodarius Williams were the other notable guys on the field for New York.
The Browns opened the scoring when, on fourth-and-7 at the Giants’ seven-yard line, Case Keenum completed a seven-yard touchdown to KhaDarel Hodge to take a 7-0 lead at 7:23 in the first quarter to complete a 10 play, 81-yard scoring drive. Defensive back Madre Harper delivered strong coverage but Keenum was able to get it right over his hands to convert the TD.
The Giants responded with a strong scoring drive of their own as a 24-yard pass from Mike Glennon to Rysen John set New York up on the Cleveland 38-yard line. Three plays later, Devontae Booker ran for a 1-yard TD to tie the score at seven with 34 seconds left in the first quarter. Glennon was 6-for-6 on the drive.
Giants quarterback Brian Lewerke, who just signed with the team earlier this week, took the field at the start of the second half.
The Browns opened the second-half scoring when running back John Kelly rushed into the end zone for a five-yard score at 9:57 to make it 14-7. The Browns scoring drive was four plays and 56 yards.
New York responded at 7:15 in the fourth quarter as Lewerke completed an eight-yard pass to David Sills in the corner of the end zone to complete an 8-play, 72-yard scoring drive. Joe Judge elected to go for two but the Giants were unable to convert, allowing the Browns to maintain a 14-13 advantage.
The Browns extended their lead to four when Chase McLaughlin converted a 49-yard kick with 2:29 left in the game.
With less than 2:30 left in the game, Lewerke led the Giants down the field on a drive that included a 29-yard pass to Rysen John to convert third-and-19 and a seven-yard pass to Gary Brightwell on fourth-and-six. But New York was unable to mount the comeback, falling 17-13.
Starting quarterback Mike Glennon was 10 of 13 with 93 yards while Brian Lewerke was 11 of 19 with 108 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
In the battle for the No. 2 running back spot behind Saquon Barkley, Devontae Booker finished the game with six rushing attempts for 27 yards and one touchdown while Corey Clement recorded 30 rushing yards in nine attempts.
Sills recorded the Giants’ one receiving TD on the day when he made a nice contested TD catch vs. Browns cornerback Brian Allen. He finished the game with three receptions for 31 yards.
Offensive line notes
- The second team offensive line got the start in Sunday’s matchup. It included: LT Jackson Barton, LG Kenny Wiggins, C Jonotthan Harrison, RG Ted Larsen, RT Chad Slade.
- Entering his 11th season in the league, Larsen received a long look as the Giants try to improve their depth on the offensive line.
- The offensive line did not give up any sacks in the first three quarters and allowed two sacks in the game.
- On special teams, Cam Brown made a saving tackle to prevent a potential score on a punt return in the first quarter. He made a second key tackle on the Giants’ second punt to increase his special teams value.
- At 10:05 in the second quarter, Giants cornerback Quincy Wilson intercepted Keenum’s pass in the end zone and returned it back for 22 yards. New York was unable to score on the following drive but Wilson, who had had strong camp, read the coverage well and prevented the Browns from scoring.
- Carter Coughlin, a 2020 seventh-round pick by the Giants, increased his case for making the Giants’ 53-man roster. In his second week in a row as a pass rusher on the interior, he came up with a big sack on third down in the second quarter to stop the Browns’ momentum.
- On the last play of the first half, defensive tackle David Moa tackled Browns QB Kyle Lauletta and forced a fumble on the play. Moa had a strong first half, making plays all over the field. He recorded six combined tackles, including four solo, on the day.
- Due to injuries on the secondary, wide receiver Matt Cole played cornerback for the Giants in the second half. He also took snaps as a gunner on special teams, showing a lot of versatility on all sides of the ball.
- Linebackers Oshane Ximines and Carter Coughlin each recorded a sack in the game.
- Cornerback Madre Harper left the game in the third quarter with a groin injury.
- Defensive back Quincy Wilson also left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
- Wide receiver Rysen John exited the game with 14 seconds left with an apparent ankle injury.
The Giants will practice with the New England Patriots in Foxborough on Aug. 25-26 before hosting New England at MetLife Stadium in the team’s final preseason game on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m.