Gi­ants top Browns for 6th straight vic­tory

Man­ning, Beck­ham Jr., Pierre-Paul lead N.Y. to 27-13 vic­tory over hap­less Browns

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Tom Withers

They’re rarely flashy, hardly ap­peal­ing and down­right tough to watch at times.

The New York Gi­ants play bland, bor­ing foot­ball — just how they like it.

“Hey, it’s just about find­ing ways,” Eli Man­ning said.

Man­ning threw three touch­down passes — two to Odell Beck­ham Jr. — and Ja­son Pierre-Paul re­turned a fum­ble for a TD as the Gi­ants ex­tended their win­ning streak to six games, hold­ing off Cleve­land 27-13 on Sun­day to keep the piti­ful Browns win­less.

At the end of a long hol­i­day week­end, the Gi­ants (8-3) looked as if they gorged on too much tur­key and ap­ple pie on Thanks­giv­ing. They stum­bled and stag­gered for much of the game be­fore fi­nally putting away the Browns (012) to give New York its long­est win­ning streak since 2008.

The Gi­ants don’t over­whelm any­one, but they do just enough to win and are in po­si­tion to make the play­offs for the first time since 2011.

“What­ever it is, a win is a win,” said Beck­ham, who had six catches for 96 yards and had a TD punt re­turn called back. “I don’t think we took a step back to­day, but I def­i­nitely think we could have taken a big­ger step for­ward. We got time. A cou­ple more games left and now it’s time to progress this week.”

Man­ning threw a 32yard TD pass to Beck­ham in the sec­ond quar­ter and added a 4-yarder to the star wide re­ceiver with 5:10 left as the Gi­ants avoided what would have been a dev­as­tat­ing loss.

They were lethar­gic and in­con­sis­tent on of­fense. On de­fense, the Gi­ants gave up a few big plays and were prob­a­bly for­tu­nate they were play­ing the Browns.

“We have to get bet­ter,” Gi­ants coach Ben McA­doo said. “We be­lieve we’re go­ing to win and find a way to get the game in our fa­vor in the end.”

It’s get­ting worse for the Browns, who have dropped 15 in a row since last sea­son and are fac­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of join­ing the 2008 Detroit Li­ons as the only teams to go 0-16.

Cleve­land is 3-30 since end­ing the 2014 sea­son with five con­sec­u­tive losses.

Fol­low­ing the game, Browns coach Hue Jack­son had a lengthy meet­ing with “up­per man­age­ment” be­fore meet­ing with re­porters. Jack­son was emo­tional when he talked about what this sea­son has done to him.

“Be­ing 0-12 is prob­a­bly the hard­est thing ever,” he said. “I’ve never been through this, but I’m not go­ing to fall off the cliff. Do I get dis­ap­pointed and frus­trated? Yes. I don’t want you to think I don’t get mad or sad. I go through all those emo­tions, but at the same time I know what I signed up for.

“I know there are in­juries and the things we’ve been through this sea­son, where we are, where we’re try­ing to go. You can ei­ther beat your­self up, and I do that enough, or you can put your head down and keep fight­ing and push through this. That’s what we’re go­ing to do as a foot­ball team and an or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Browns quar­ter­back Josh McCown, back in the lineup af­ter rookie Cody Kessler sus­tained his sec­ond con­cus­sion last week, fin­ished with 322 yards pass­ing and threw a TD pass to rookie Corey Cole­man.

With the Gi­ants lead­ing 14-6, Pierre-Paul rum­bled 43 yards for his third ca­reer TD.

The de­fen­sive end, who had three of New York’s

seven sacks, snagged the ball af­ter McCown’s arm was struck by Johnathan Hank­ins and raced to the end zone, putting the Gi­ants ahead by two touch­downs.

“It was an in­ter­cep­tion,” Pierre-Paul joked af­ter­ward. “The ball never touched the ground.”

Rob­bie Gould missed the ex­tra point, and that be­came a brief con­cern when McCown hooked up with Cole­man to make it 20-13 with 8:17 left.

How­ever, Man­ning re­sponded with a 73-yard drive, con­nect­ing with Beck­ham for 41 yards, be­fore the scor­ing strike.

“We knew it was go­ing to be a tough game,” Man­ning said.

GI­ANT STEPS

The 14-point mar­gin was the Gi­ants’ largest this sea­son. New York col­lected its first seven wins by a com­bined 27 points, none by more than a touch­down.

LOSERS LIST

The Browns joined seven fran­chises that have lost at least their first 12 games: the 2008 Li­ons; 1980 Saints (0-14); 1976 Buc­ca­neers (0-14); 2011 Colts (0-13), 2007 Dol­phins (0-13); 2001 Li­ons (0-12) and 1977 Bucs (0-12).

MOV­ING UP

With his 37-yard com­ple­tion to Cruz in the sec­ond quar­ter, Man­ning moved past Hall of Famer Fran Tarken­ton (47,003) for eighth place in ca­reer yards. Up next is War­ren Moon (49,325), but Man­ning has a long way to go to catch brother, Pey­ton, who fin­ished with 71,940 yards.

BANGED-UP

Beck­ham went out briefly in the first quar­ter with an in­jured right thumb. He un­der­went Xrays and missed just one series be­fore re­turn­ing.

Gi­ants backup safety Nate Berhe sus­tained a con­cus­sion while cov­er­ing a kick­off in the sec­ond quar­ter. Also, New York de­fen­sive end Owa Odighizuwa left with an in­jured left knee in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Browns right guard John Greco sus­tained a mid-foot sprain.

UP NEXT

Gi­ants: Visit Pitts­burgh next Sun­day.

Browns: Have their open date next week­end.

DAVID RICHARD — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants quar­ter­back Eli Man­ning threw a pair of touch­down passes in New York’s vic­tory over the Browns.

RON SCHWANE — AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Gi­ants de­fen­sive end Ja­son Pierre-Paul (90) cel­e­brates his in­ter­cep­tion and touch­down with Da­mon Har­ri­son (98) dur­ing New York’s win on Sun­day.

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