The trap has been set! The New York Giants (2-2) host the better-than-their-record Cleveland Browns (0-4) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, September 7 (1:00 p.m. ET). Here are the keys to avoiding an upset at the hands of the Browns, who are young, talented and desperate for a win.
Set the Alarm Clock! -- It's easy to sleep on the Browns, who don't have a win this season, but they have been in every game. Cleveland has lost four contests by a total of 25 points. Plus, the Giants have a history of playing down to the competition, especially at MetLife Stadium (they lost games last season to the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks at home). With a rematch of last year's NFC Championship looming next week, the Giants first must take care of business on Sunday.
Trap Trent -- Trent Richardson has rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. Those numbers may not seem very impressive, but Cleveland's rookie running back has the potential to break loose for a big game. The Giants, who rank No. 21 in the NFL against the run, yielded 191 rushing yards to the Philadelphia Eagles last week. They can't allow Richardson to turn the corner for big gains, like they did against LeSean McCoy and Michael Vick. They key is containment.
Air it out -- Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden have been ruled out for Sunday's game, but the Giants still have enough firepower to burn the Browns. Cleveland, which ranks No. 27 in the league against the pass, will be without cornerback Joe Haden (suspension). So Victor Cruz and even Domenik Hixon, who had 114 yards receiving last week, should have their way with their opponents thin secondary. Furthermore, rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden can't match throws with Eli Manning.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. He grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.
- American Football
- Sports & Recreation
- Cleveland Browns
- Trent Richardson
- The New York Giants