Browns’ preseason success continues in home win over Giants

Cleveland players continue to land on the NFL Top 100


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Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield practices with the offensive squad at training camp.

Gaurav Hardikar, Staff Writer

The Cleveland Browns took down the New York Giants 17-13 at home on Sunday, Aug. 22 and improved to 2-0 in the 2021 NFL preseason. The starters were rested for this week’s game again and Browns fans  got to witness the backups who continued to instill faith in the team’s strength. 

Once again, Kyle Lauletta and Case Keenum split snaps at quarterback. This time, Keenum had the start and a more eventful statline. Following an unsuccessful Giants opening drive that resulted in a punt, the Browns ran it back and scored on their opening drive. Keenum found fourth-year receiver KhaDarel Hodge for a 7-yard touchdown, followed by a successful extra point kick from Cody Parkey to put the Browns up 7-0. Running back D’Ernest Johnson led the charge on this 81-yard scoring drive for the Browns, racking up 34 rushing yards and 8 receiving yards.

The Giants were able to even the game on the following possession as quarterback Mike Glennon found tight end Rysen John for a 24-yard gain, which helped the Giants make their way downfield for a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Devontae Booker.

The Browns’ attempt to retaliate carried into the second quarter but ended catastrophically: Giants cornerback Quincy Wilson intercepted a pass from Keenum and returned it 22 yards. Before halftime, the Giants and Browns each had two more possessions, all of them unsuccessful. As the clock neared halftime, Lauletta, who was substituted in for Keenum on the final drive, broke away on a 32-yard run before fumbling the ball, though it was recovered by Johnson.

To open the second half, both teams traded short, scoreless drives until the Browns made their way to the end zone on a string of chunk plays. Lauletta found fullback Johnny Stanton on back-to-back plays of 14 and 19 yards before running back John Kelly took over. Kelly carried the ball for 18 yards and ran another 5 yards for the touchdown on the next play. Kicker Chase McLaughlin nailed the extra point to put the Browns up 14-7.

Three Giants possessions later, quarterback Brian Lewerke connected with wide receiver David Sills V on an 8-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. In an attempt to gain the lead with a two-point conversion, the Giants ran the ball from the two-yard line but were unsuccessful. The Browns lead, despite being reduced to 1, remained intact.

Lauletta continued to march the Browns offense downfield on the ensuing possession, most notably with a 21-yard find to Kelly. McLaughlin capped off the drive with a successful field goal attempt from 49 yards to solidify the win with two-and-a-half minutes remaining.

Down 17-13, Lewerke tried to hurry the Giants downfield and desperately hurled a 27-yard pass with six seconds remaining in hopes of scoring a game-winning touchdown. Browns safety Richard LeCounte III picked off the pass in the end zone to seal the win.

Ultimately, the Giants proved to be no match for the Browns as Cleveland dominated in total yards (370 to 308), number of first downs (24 to 18) and time of possession (31:17 to 28:43).

Though this game primarily featured the backup players on both teams, there was good news for the Browns starters as well. The NFL Top 100, which annually ranks the 100 best players as voted by other players around the NFL, continued to release their rankings on Sunday, unveiling the players ranked between 11th and 40th best in the league. Browns running back Nick Chubb nabbed a spot at 26 while Browns defensive end Myles Garrett landed at 16. Two other Browns favorites were also named to the Top 100 the previous week, with quarterback Baker Mayfield coming in at 71 and wide receiver Jarvis Landry at 94.

The Browns travel to Atlanta next Sunday, Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. EST for their final game of the preseason. They will face the Falcons, who are 0-2 so far in the preseason.