Page last updated on Sun Dec 21 12:58:36 EST 2014
10/07/2012 9:25 PM EDT
Giants rally, keep Browns winless, 41-27

AP Pro Football Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Ahmad Bradshaw got furious at
himself, and took it out on the Cleveland Browns.

Bradshaw fumbled on the first play from scrimmage, setting up a
Cleveland touchdown. After that, he was unstoppable, surpassing
his yardage on the ground for the season with a career-best 200
yards in a 41-27 victory Sunday.

"I was angry at myself for the fumble and I just used it,"
Bradshaw said. "I was disappointed with the fumble, but you put
it out of your mind. I knew I was cool. We knew the running game
was there, we were confident."

The passing game was there, too. Victor Cruz made a career-best
three touchdown catches. Eli Manning hit Cruz for scores of 3, 7
and 28 yards, prompting Cruz's trademark salsa in the end zone
after each touchdown.

"We showed how resilient we are," said Cruz, who entered the
game leading the NFL with 32 receptions and added five for 50
yards. "We started off rough, getting behind the 8-ball a bit,
but we were able to keep our wits about us. We understand we'll
be able to make some plays offensively."

Bradshaw added a 4-yard run as he darted inside and outside and
frequently broke feeble tackle attempts. Bradshaw's yardage on
30 carries easily beat the 132 he had heading into the game.

The Giants are 9-0 in games he has rushed for 100 yards or more.

Bradshaw and Cruz became the first tandem to rush for 200 yards
and catch three TD passes in a game since 1960, when the
Cardinals' John David Crow ran for 203 yards and Sonny Randle
had three touchdowns receiving.

New York (3-2) also forced three turnovers, including Chase
Blackburn's interception in the end zone midway in the fourth
quarter to clinch it. That led to rookie David Wilson's first
NFL touchdown, a 40-yard scamper, which Wilson celebrated with a
flip in the end zone.

The Giants rushed for 243 yards.

"It was across the board," Bradshaw said of the rushing effort.
"Inside, outside, left or right, the line was doing everything

The Browns weren't. They are 0-5 for the first time since their
return season to the NFL in 1999 and have lost 11 straight
dating back to last season, matching the franchise record. Their
inexperience as the league's youngest team could not be offset
by the skills of third overall draft pick Trent Richardson, who
ran for a touchdown for the fourth straight game.

And their defense couldn't do anything with Cruz and Bradshaw.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland's other first-round pick, hit another
rookie, Josh Gordon, on two touchdown passes, but the Browns
showed why they are winless with several critical errors in the
pivotal second period, leading to 20 points for the Giants that
pretty much decided matters.

"We've been starving for turnovers," said Giants coach Tom
Coughlin, who tied Bill Parcells for regular-season coaching
victories with the franchise, 77.

Weeden was sharp for much of the first half, but made a terrible
decision on third-and-1 from the Giants 25. With Richardson not
on the field, Weeden rolled out and forced a pass to Gordon that
sailed high, directly to Stevie Brown. The backup safety sped
down the left sideline for 46 yards.

"I was trying to make a play. It was stupid," Weeden said. "I
should have airmailed it and let Phil (Dawson) kick a field
goal. That was the one throw I want back."

On the next play, Manning found Rueben Randle - yet another
rookie - wide open on the left side for 36 more yards. Then
Bradshaw highlighted his big opening half with his TD run to tie
it at 17.

Veteran Joshua Cribbs made the next mistake for Cleveland,
fumbling the ensuing kickoff. Brown was on the spot again for
the recovery, and Cruz caught his second touchdown pass for New
York's first lead.

"We started out fast and got an early lead," coach Pat Shurmur
said. "We had a three-minute stretch before the end of the first
half that was, `Wow, you can't do that against a good football
team.' `'

Earlier, Cruz caught a 3-yard TD pass. Cruz, Randle and Dominek
Hixon stepped up nicely with Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden
sidelined Sunday.

The Browns weren't finished handing away points. A pair of
penalties led to a punt, and a 24-yard pass interference against
Buster Skrine gave Lawrence Tynes a chance to kick a 40-yard
field goal as the half ended.

Cleveland wound up with 10 penalties for 91 yards.

Before their collapse, the Browns looked sharp as the Giants
made the gaffes that led to points.

Bradshaw fumbled when the ball hit guard Chris Snee's shoulder
gave the Browns a quick break at the New York 22 and Richardson
took care of the yardage with runs of 7 and 15.

Wideout Gordon then beat double coverage, although with no
cornerback in sight, for a 62-yard score and a 14-0 edge that
didn't last long.

NOTES: Cleveland lost MLB D'Qwell Jackson, one of its defensive
leaders, to a concussion. CB Dimitri Patterson hurt an ankle and
DT Ahtyba Rubin to a lower leg injury. Giants backup RB left
with a head injury. ... Richardson finished with 81 yards
rushing and 47 receiving. ... Weeden went 22 of 35 for 291
yards, while Manning was 25 of 37 for 259. Manning has won eight
straight against AFC teams ... Coughlin trails only Steve Owen,
who coached the Giants to 153 wins in 23 seasons. This is
Coughlin's ninth with New York.


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