Eli Manning spent the game throwing off balance and into traffic, with a final result being three interceptions, one of which was brought back for a touchdown. Manning, who had been as good as it gets at the quarterback position up to this game, threw his first interceptions since week one against the Washington Redskins.
The Giants were not out of reach, and they were only down by two scores when Manning threw the interception that was returned for a touchdown. Manning, who was slammed to the turf by the 350 pound, possibly heavier-than-listed, Shaun Rogers, in the second quarter, hurt his chest but continued to play without letting the public know that he was hurt. Nobody knew Eli was hurt until the news broke out after the game. Head coach Tom Coughlin said that his chest was bothering him after the game, but also said that until tests results are returned, he will not know how long Manning will be out.
The defense also struggled, and Braylon Edwards kept catching footballs thrown his way. He caught a touchdown and a two-point conversion score. Both times, he dunked the ball over the goalpost following the score. It seemed that the Browns were always able to get themselves into position for a manageable third down situation. Instead of going for that deep pass early in the drive, they would accumulate small chunks of yardage at a time to make a third down situation much easier on them. It worked, and they kept getting first downs until they found themselves in the red zone.
The 4-1, first place Giants will face the San Francisco 49ers next week at home for the second consecutive season. I remember very clearly when Antonio Pierce’s interception was nearly returned for a touchdown until the slow and weak quarterback somehow dragged him down. The defensive players rattled Pierce about that for weeks, and everyone got a kick out of it.