First Quarter: Giants 23, Browns 3

Domenik Hixon owned the Browns in the first quarter of the second pre-season game as the Browns stumbled badly to a 23-3 deficit against the Giants. Here are the gory details and Lane's analysis...

The Cleveland Browns started their second pre-season game with what could, at best, be called an inauspicious quarter of football.

Sloppy and penalty-filled defensive play did not allow the Browns to put their best foot forward as they began a series of games playing on national television . For Browns fans, the weak play of the first quarter was undoubtadly compounded by the insight-free yammering of ESPN announcers.

Jim Donovan and Bernie Kosar. Please come back. All is forgiven.

First series:
Phil Dawson kicked off into the Giants end zone for a touchback. The Browns defense started strong, stuffing the Giants on a run/run/pass/punt series of downs.

Lane's Take:

- Nothing like kicking the game off with Shaun Smith talking smack with RB Jacobs

- Nice positioning and read by LB Andra Davis

- Interesting to see OLB Willie McGinest come across the set to make that stop on Jacobs

Second series:
Josh Cribbs returned the punt back to the Browns 35-yard-line. The Browns opened strong on offense, with a ten-yard pass to Kellen Winslow and two runs by Jamal Lewis for another 12 yards. A short pass to Charles Ali was followed by a run by Lewis and incomplete pass for no gain. Phil Dawson nailed a 56-yard field goal to make it BROWNS 3, GIANTS 0

Lane's Take:

- Gaping hole made by Steinbach and Thomas

- The Jamal Lewis carries in this game shows just how in shape and ready he is. He was quick to the hole

- Nice little roll to the right by Anderson on the short completion to FB Charles Ali

- This is what I have alluded to in training camp, we need to see DA in game-action, under the live better gauge his true progress in accuracy and short game. Interesting, all three DA passes have been under 10-yards.

- 56 yard FG by Dawson was money.

Third Series:
Giants started off at their 26 and immediately moved to the Browns 20 thanks to a 53-yard pass interference on Eric Wright. Brandon Jacobs ran for six and Manning scrambled for nine before hitting Domenik Hixon (who is fourth on the Giants depth chart... remember that as we continue). GIANTS 7, BROWNS 3

Lane's Take:

- Eric Wright was beaten in coverage, but had the opportunity to make a play. He simply went for the WR rather than the ball

- Santana Moss can really motor, one of the fastest guys in the league

- Solid coverage by McDonald

- The Manning scramble is a point of concern, question being can the OLB contain the perimeter

- Definite error in the defensive backfield. Wright looked inside for help after the bump, but there was none. The safety picked up the receiver crossing to the hash, Wright must maintain coverage

- Not a good start for E. Wright. His technique looks fine, he simply is not recognizing as he needs to when playing press/tight coverage

Fourth Series:
Three and out. Anderson incomplete long to Stallworth. Jamal Lewis caught one deep, and another incomplete pass to Travis Wilson.

Lane's Take:

- The Giants defense is pressuring the Browns up the middle, Fraley getting pushed back into Anderson.

- Twice in that 3-play series, Anderson was unable to step-up and into the throw, causing the ball to be short of an open receiver.

Fifth Series:
Zastudil's punt is wasted as Mike Adams interferes with the ability of the Giants to catch the punt, and the Giants get the ball at the 50. Following two short plays and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Andra Davis, Eli Manning hit Domenik Hixon for 24 yards and a touchdown. GIANTS 14, BROWNS 3

Lane's Take:

- Terrific play by Sean Jones and Andra Davis to stay home on a Jacobs run. Though the fumble was recovered by the Giants, this was a solid play by the above mentioned as well as D'Qwell Jackson.

- 15-yards on Davis for swinging on a player

- Manning all day to throw against the 3-man rush.....TD pass to Hixon beating Sean Jones and Mike Adams.

- NY doing a nice job against the left side of the Browns defensive line

Sixth Series:
Steptoe has a nice return to the Browns 43. Lewis gains four on a run, but the passing game is again ineffective and Zastudil punts again.

Lane's Take:

- Steptoe has had a fantastic camp and could be in a great position to make this Browns team. Nice explosion to the opening on that kickoff return by the 2nd year player

- NY CB's are showing no respect to the Cleveland offense and WR's. DA is going to have to stretch the field to get the CB's off the point of attack. NY getting pressure, stepped up in the pocket and threw a low pass - incomplete.

- This DA and the Cleveland offense is what I have been wanting to see. In camp you only get a small read, there is nothing like game competition

Seventh Series: McDonald has to fair catch at the Browns eight. Winslow gets called for offensive pass interference and Jamal Lewis loses two on a run. Incomplete passws to Wilson and Heiden puts the Browns in bad shape. Old friend Reuben Droughns blocks the kick and the Browns give up a safety. GIANTS 16, BROWNS 3

Zastudil kicks off and Hixon appears again, running the ball back 82 yards for a touchdown. GIANTS 23, BROWNS 3

- Another quick dump by DA , this time Ali again was on the receiving end.

- Backed up near their own endzone, the playcalling is going conservative

- NY Fred Robbins simply shot through Fraley and Steinbach. Another poor DA pass attempt to Travis Wilson

Eighth Series:
Syntric Steptoe runs it back to the Giants nine yard line and the quarter mercifully ends.


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