This week I think the various honors and dishonors are pretty cut and dry. See if you agree.
Kudos to ...
Ahmad Bradshaw: Umm ... this one was pretty obvious. Career highs in carries (30) and yards (200). Bradshaw said he "just ran angry" after he fumbled on his first carry of the game. He certainly made the Browns feel his wrath.
Rueben Randle: Imagine what would happen if he actually worked hard. The rookie was Sunday's 'Next Man Up,' grabbing six receptions for 82 yards. He had four of those catches on the Giants' first scoring drive, a 92-yard march when they were trailing, 14-0.
Offensive Line: Eli Manning was not sacked, which is sort of becoming the norm, and the group up front (including tight ends Martellus Bennett and Bear Pascoe and fullback Henry Hynoski) opened holes to run through all day.
Stevie Brown: A huge interception when the Giants were still trailing and searching desperately for a way to stop Cleveland's offense. That was a horrible throw by Brandon Weeden, but still a terrific catch and run by Brown. He followed that up with a fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff as the Giants gained control of the game for the first time. Brown did, however, admit responsibility for being out of position on the 62-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon. He made up for it in a big way, however.
Eli Manning: Led the Giants back from that 14-0 deficit and finished 25-of-37 for 259 yards and three touchdowns. He engineered scoring drives of 92 and 95 yards.
Martellus Bennett: Gets this 'kudos' simply for his toughness. Admitted after the game that he hyperextended his knee on an awkward-looking block, yet played on. "To be an elite player on a team in this league, you have to play through injuries and there are a lot of things that these guys expect from me when I'm out there. Ahmad is like, ‘I need you out there blocking.' So I just tried to come through and do the best I can," Bennett said. Let's put to rest questions about whether or not this guy wants to be great.
Victor Cruz: Three touchdown catches, three salsa dances. He made it look easy.
Will Hill: Created the Josh Cribbs' fumble with excellent hustle and played 34 of the Giants' 58 defensive snaps. He had three tackles, one for a loss.
David Wilson: A 40-yard touchdown run, showing the explosiveness the Giants drafted him for. Cleveland bottled him up on kickoff returns, but he still made a play to help the Giants win.
Trent Richardson: I don't usually add opposing players to the 'K&WW,' but Richardson is a special player. He is much better than I thought, and virtually impossible to bring down with one tackler.
Wet Willies to ...
The Giants' pass rush: The Giants have a pass rush? They have defensive linemen. Right now, though, they don't seem to have any idea where the opposing quarterback is.
The Giants' run defense: Osi Umenyiora challenged rookie Trent Richardson last week, and Richardson responded with 17 carries for 81 yards. He would have had a lot more, too, if it wasn't for Browns' mistakes and the Giants' offense bailing out the mostly helpless defense.
- After Cleveland scored on its first three possessions that made eight straight drives on which the Giants' defense had surrendered points. The Giants have serious issues on defense.
Think about it. What do the Giants do well on defense? Cover the pass? Nope. Stop the run? Nope. Rush the passer? Apparently not. What else is there? And what is the answer?
- I can't believe there were folks complaining Sunday evening about Bradshaw carrying the ball too often against the Browns. Haven't we, for years now. talked about the Giants splitting carries to a fault between Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs and failing to ride the hot hand?
- Speaking of Jacobs, how long before he starts jabbering this week and saying foolish things?
Your thoughts? Did I leave anybody off either the 'Kudos' or 'Wet Willies' lists?