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What to Watch For: Giants at Browns

The Giants Beat covers the major matchups and storylines to keep an eye on when Big Blue tries to keep Cleveland winless in Week 12.

1.      Can the New York Giants take out yet another Cleveland Browns Organization quarterback?
I never thought I would say this, but the Browns might have an offensive line that at least matches if not surpasses the Giants as the worst in the NFL.  Cleveland leads the league in sacks given up with 38 and only average 218 yards per game through the air.  Last week against Pittsburgh, the Browns gave up eight sacks and got yet another quarterback in Cody Kessler injured.  The New York defensive line has finally hit its stride, sacking Jay Cutler a combined four times in last week’s 26-22 win, and their matchup with an unstable Cleveland offensive line could lead to a mismatch and an afternoon of punishment for Josh McCown.

2.      Will Terrelle Pryor Dominate Janoris Jenkins and Landon Collins?
With both Collins and Jenkins downplaying his effect on a game all week, Pryor is poised to get on the field to prove his opponents wrong.  Pryor, who stands a towering six inches over Jenkins, has stepped into his wide receiver role nicely this season, having caught four touchdown passes on 56 receptions and 724 total yards, including a five catch, 97 yard game last week against the Steelers.  Cleveland, despite having to use six different quarterbacks this season, is only one spot behind the Giants in total receiving offense at the number 18 spot and, with a pass defense that has given up an average of 263 yards per game, big blue is highly susceptible to an offensive outburst from a talented and now motivated Pryor.

3.      Can the Giants Take Care of Business?
For at least the past few seasons, the Giants have had a tendency to play up or down to the level of their opponents.  Against, for example, the New England Patriots, they always bring their best and often come close to or end up beating the Patriots.  However, they also play poorly against teams they should have no problem beating, such as was the case last week against an awful Chicago Bears team.  The now 2-8 Bears should have been an easy win for the Giants, but poor defensive play in the first half and mistakes made throughout the game kept Chicago in it until the final minute.  If New York thought this team was hungry, then they have another thing coming in Cleveland against a team that is desperate for their first win.  This is a must-win for the Giants, with a brutal five game stretch coming up against Pittsburgh, Dallas, Detroit, Washington, and Philadelphia.  All teams are at or above .500, and a win tomorrow goes a long way in boosting their playoff chances.  A combination of a team that always plays down to their competition and an opponent that had literally nothing to lose is a bad mix, and don’t be surprised if the Giants allow the Browns to hang around for a while tomorrow.


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