Manning, Jacobs shine in Cleveland

CLEVELAND – From the silver lining department, several Giants shined in Cleveland Saturday night. The final result, a 17-14 Cleveland win, didn't mean nearly as much to New York as the fact that some of the players they were hoping to see big things from delivered. Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, Mike Cloud and William Joseph all stood out as New York battled not only the Browns, but a lengthy weather delay to open its exhibition slate.

"Certainly there were some positive things," coach Tom Coughlin said.

Now, there were some negatives as well, as the backup offense, behind a terrible interception from Jesse Palmer, had trouble moving the ball and the defense allowed the anemic Cleveland offense to move the ball way too easily.

The game was delayed for 79 minutes early in the first quarter due to lightning and heavy rain.

"Both teams went through the rain delay and both came out of it," Coughlin said.

That didn't slow Manning, who led Big Blue to a TD on its first possession of the 2005 preseason. He completed all five of his passes while leading a nine-play, 69-yard drive that wrapped around the lengthy delay. Manning lofted a fade pass to Plaxico Burress, who outjumped Browns CB Gary Baxter in the end zone for the points.

Manning finished the game six-of-eight for 53 yards and the scoring strike.

Tim Hasselbeck led the troops on an 84-yard TD drive bridging the third and fourth quarters, but was picked off late in the fourth quarter as the Giants were trying to mount a comeback.

Jacobs, who's been tearing up Albany, showed more of the same in Cleveland. While his final numbers were 73 yards on 12 carries, Jacobs on three occasions had lengthy runs negated by penalties, including a 43-yarder. Jacobs even showed his hands, grabbing a couple passes.

He wasn't the only rushing star, as Mike Cloud stated his case for the backup RB job with hard running, gaining 58 yards on five carries in the process.

Defensively, the Giants didn't exactly stand out, as they allowed the Browns to move 80 yards in 15 plays for the tying touchdown shortly before halftime.

Both William Joseph, who started and played very well, and Justin Tuck drew holding calls on Cleveland blockers. Second-round pick Corey Webster posted a team-high six tackles and rookie free agents James Butler and Chase Blackburn had five stops apiece.

Game Notes: The refs were absurd, calling a total of 28 penalties, 15 on the Giants…

The slew of Giants that missed the game due to injury included S Jack Brewer, RB Derrick Ward, CB Antwain Spann, LB Barrett Green, LB Nick Greisen, LB T.J. Hollowell, G Wayne Lucier, OT Greg Walker, WR Jamaar Taylor, WR/PR Mark Jones and DE Eric Moore

The Giants still lead the preseason series with Cleveland, 8-7. The teams' last preseason meeting was on Aug. 6, 1995, a 19-13 Giants victory. The Giants defeated the Browns, 27-10, last Sept. 26…

The Giants were 1-3 in the preseason in 2004.

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