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Giants Start Late, But Finish With Authority

Giants allow 14 points in first five minutes, then rebound for 41-27 win

By Josh Alper
|  Sunday, Oct 7, 2012  |  Updated 4:24 PM EDT
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Giants Start Late, But Finish With Authority

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Bradshaw's big day carried the Giants to a 3-2 record.

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We've all grown accustomed to certain traits in the Giants over the last couple of years.

They're prone to digging themselves holes, particularly against bad teams on the road, and forcing everyone to feel some tension before Eli Manning pulls things out in the fourth quarter. It looked like Sunday was going to go according to plan in the first few minutes of the Giants' game against the Browns. 

Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled, Trent Richardson scored a touchdown and then Brandon Weeden hit Josh Gordon for a 62-yard touchdown a few minutes later to give Cleveland, losers of 10 straight, a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game. No one was worried, but it definitely felt like one of those days again. 

The same old, same old never materialized. The Giants outscored the Browns 41-13 from that point on for an easy 41-27 win that extended Cleveland's unyielding misery and saw the Giants snap another long-standing trend. 

Their running game carried the day. Bradshaw rebounded from that fumble with his best day in ages, finishing with 200 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. 

Things even got comfortable enough for Tom Coughlin to trust David Wilson with a carry and it worked out well enough for an untouched 40-yard touchdown to put the icing on the cupcake that the offensive line was baking for most of the day. There were massive holes on most of the team's rushing attempts and they exploited them for huge chunks of yardage. 

And, when they decided not to run, Manning just played pitch-and-catch with his receivers in the total absence of a Cleveland pass rush. Victor Cruz caught three touchdowns, rookie Rueben Randle had a coming-out party with 82 yards and it was smooth sailing just about every time the Giants had the ball. 

The last Cleveland rally was snuffed out on a comical pair of plays by Weeden inside the Giants' 10-yard line down 14 in the fourth quarter. Weeden first tried a pass that was batted back into his hands, which led him to try a second throw, which is actually prohibited under NFL rules. After the penalty, Weeden tried another toss into the end zone that Chase Blackburn picked off to make up for his totally blown coverage, which was ill-concieved and poorly executed by Blackburn's help over the top to boot, on Gordon's touchdown.

Weeden was picked in the first half as well, a major turning point that happened on third down inside field goal territory when the Browns could have made it a 20-10 lead. Weeden overthrew his receiver instead of throwing it away, though, and Stevie Brown picked off the ball to send the Giants on their way to victory.

It wasn't quite as exciting as the typical Giants comeback win, but it probably won't lead to many complaints from unsatisfied observers. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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