4-oh, no! Giants Drop First Game in 10 Months

CLEVELAND – No one said New York was going to go undefeated. The Browns looked a lot more like last year's version. Unfortunately, so did the Giants. New York's unbeaten start is a thing of the past as the Browns toppled the Giants, 35-14, at Cleveland Browns Stadium last Monday night. The loss snapped an overall eight-game winning streak for Big Blue.

"Obviously I'm disappointed," Eli Manning said. "I'm disappointed we didn't come out and play the way we've been playing. We haven't been turning the ball over, I haven't thrown interceptions. You turn the ball over three times, that's just not the formula for winning games."

Especially when your defense, which was shredded by Derek Anderson, failed to force a turnover or produce a sack all game long.

"We did not get the kind of pressure that we need to," Tom Coughlin said.

The Browns rolled up 454 yards, converted nine of their 13 third-down tries and held the ball for 32:25. All told, the Giants were basically blown out of the water by the previously 1-3 Browns.

"We just have to correct the mistakes we made," Corey Webster said. "We know how (losing) feels and we don't want this feeling in our mouths. We don't want to lose any games."

"That wasn't Giant football that we know," Shaun O'Hara added.

Eli Manning was especially upset because he felt the overall effort wasn't always there.

"You might lose a game every once in a while, that's part of football," he said. "It's not the fact we lost; it's how we lost. We just didn't give it our best shot."

Danny Clark was unhappy with the defensive play, which seemingly couldn't make a stop to save its life.

"We didn't play nearly as close to our potential," he said.

But Antonio Pierce said it was far from panic time for Big Blue.

"Whenever you lose it's hard to swallow," he said. "We just didn't play well enough to win."

When asked if he was concerned about having to play San Francisco on a short week after a loss, Pierce's answer was simple: "Nope."

Injury report

While the Giants had a host of players suffer bumps and bruises during the game, most returned to game action and none seemed too seriously banged up. Antonio Pierce reinjured his ailing quad and missed some snaps. Gerris Wilkinson injured his knee, while Aaron Ross, who had a very, very rough game, suffered ill-timed cramps that basically knocked him out of the play when Braylon Edwards caught an 11-yard TD pass. Kevin Boss had his right knee heavily iced as he limped through the locker room after the game.

"There's never a good time to get hurt," Wilkinson said. "But I'll be back in a very short time."

As for Ross, his injury came at the worst possible time.

"I cramped up really bad," he explained. "As soon as I was about to explode to the ball both calves cramped up. I couldn't do anything except watch him catch the ball."

Minor measure of revenge

Former Giants TE Darnell Dinkins caught a 22-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. For Dinkins, who caught two passes during his two years with the Giants (2002-03), it was only the third career TD reception of his career.

Thomas debut

Second-round pick Terrell Thomas made his NFL debut in Cleveland. The former USC corner had missed all four of New York's games due to a hamstring injury suffered in the preseason. Thomas posted a special teams punt coverage tackle.

"It felt good to play," he said. "I just wanted to get back and contribute. I was able to make a play on punt team."

Thomas said he wasn't concerned about the loss because New York's miscues were correctable.

"We really just got our ass whooped, and that's easy to correct," he said.

Falling further behind

The Giants now trail in the regular-season series with the Browns, 26-19-2. The teams last met in the regular season on Sept. 26, 2004, a 27-10 Giants victory in Giants Stadium. They last played in Cleveland on Nov. 5, 2000, when the Giants earned a 24-3 victory. The teams met in a preseason game on Aug. 18 in Giants Stadium. The Giants jumped out to a 30-3 lead before holding on to win, 37-34.

Quick kicks

Lights out: Monday night continues to be unkind to the Giants, who dropped to 18-31-1 on Monday Night Football…

Mr. October: The Giants are still a very impressive 14-3 in October under Tom Coughlin…

Missed opportunity: The Giants failed to become the seventh defending Super Bowl champion to start 5-0. The others were 1986 Chicago, 1990 San Francisco, 1998 Denver, 2000 St. Louis, 2004 New England and 2007 Indianapolis.

Trade winds

The latest news on Tony Gonzalez as press time approached was that there was no new news. Giants GM Jerry Reese had "no comment" on the possibility that Big Blue was going to land the future Hall-of-Fame tight end before Tuesday's 4 p.m. trade deadline. Several varying reports had the Giants potentially willing to unload a low draft choice (sixth or seventh round), but nothing more. Basically it seemed that the Giants would take Gonzalez, who has publicly stated his desire to play in New York, if the Chiefs were willing to give him away. However, with other clubs such as the Eagles and Bills reportedly in the mix, there was really no way of actually predicting how this one was going to unfold.

Moss back on inactive list

Some thanks shown Sinorice Moss, who caught the first two TD passes of his career last game against Seattle. On Monday night, it was right back to the inactive list for Moss, who was joined by kicker Lawrence Tynes, who still wasn't healthy enough to kick. The rest of New York's inactives were hardly surprising either: S Sammy Knight, RB Danny Ware, CB Sam Madison, LB Jonathan Goff, OT Adam Koets and DE Dave Tollefson.

As for Moss, one scenario/rumor/possibility had him being held out of action in case the Giants were looking to move him before Tuesday's trade deadline. Needless to say, we'll all know how that one unfolded before you're reading this.

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