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Browns vs. Giants: Cleveland squanders early lead, falls to 0-5

The Browns jumped out to an early 14-0 lead against the Giants, but it was all down hill from there as Eli Manning and New York victimized the Browns secondary.

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An open letter to Pat Shurmur

Ryan Alton on why he can no longer defend the Browns head coach.


T.J. Ward struggles with cast

The Cleveland Browns didn't have much go right against the New York Giants in Week 5. Their offense wasn't able to keep up, but the big mistakes came on defense, where injuries and general poor form caused missed tackle after missed tackle. One such player suffering from an injury was safety T.J. Ward, who played the game with a cast on his right hand during the game.

He found it very hard to make tackles in general on the day, according to

"I couldn't grab anything," Ward said. "It was uncomfortable. I should have made the tackles that I missed. One time I didn't even try. It was so late in the game I just went for the strip."

Players will often elect to play with a cast on their hand, and generally, they're pretty effective. Some prefer to utilize the cast as something of a club to jar the football loose, but Ward definitely struggled on the day. Fellow safety Usama Young was also one culprit when it came to missed tackles. Everything went south when starting middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was sidelined with a concussion in the second quarter.

Ward will still likely have the cast on for some time, but seeing as how it was just difficult and not overly painful, it's likely he'll remain on the field if he's wearing it come gameday next time out.


Josh Gordon a bright spot in loss in New York

When Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon hauled in a 62-yard touchdown from Brandon Weeden to put the team up 14-0 on Sunday, it looked like Cleveland might score the upset of the week in the NFL. Alas, it wasn't to be, but Sunday was still a breakout game for the Cleveland rookie, who told reporters after the game that he will gain confidence from his performance, via the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"I made a big play for the team but really at this point it's null and void because we would like to get a win. [But] it's definitely a confidence booster."

Gordon, a second-round supplemental draft choice out of Baylor, utilized the opportunity for playing time with Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi both out with injuries. Gordon caught the first two touchdown passes of his career on Sunday, including a 20-yard scoring reception in the fourth quarter.

Through five games this season, Gordon has caught nine passes for 175 yards. He has yet to catch more than three passes in any game, but his 19.4 yards per reception is a stellar number.


Pat Shurmur to 'continue to come under fire'

The Cleveland Browns jumped out to a 14-0 lead over the New York Giants on Sunday, but would eventually fall 41-27. The team dropped to 0-5 on the season, and though there have been encouraging moments, those in charge are going to continue to be scrutinized. That includes head coach Pat Shurmur, who was singled out by Chris Pokorny of SB Nation's Browns blog Dawgs By Nature.

This is another tough loss for the Browns, especially with how well the Browns started. No matter who was responsible for the loss, Pat Shurmur is going to continue to come under fire. 0-5 is certainly not an acceptable start to a season, and neither is a 41-6 stretch by the opposition in a game where you were up 14-0.

Shurmur's job status -- and that of key front office personnel -- was already in question heading into the season with new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam taking over the team, and the Browns' winless start will do little to quash the idea that Haslam may want to make wholesale changes come the end of the season. Since being hired in 2011, the Browns have gone only 4-17 under Shurmur.

The team will host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6.


Browns start fast, but still get dominated in NY

For once, the Browns weren't playing catch-up right out of the gate. But as Ryan Alton recaps, it didn't matter, as Victor Cruz and Ahmad Bradshaw took advantage of a porous Browns defense in another disappointing loss.


Ahtyba Rubin leaves locker room in walking boot

Ahtyba Rubin had a productive game for the Cleveland Browns against the New York Giants, however it came at a cost as he left the locker room following today's game in a walking boot, according to Mary Kay Cabot.

The defensive tackle made five stops Sunday afternoon, bringing his season total to 15.

It is another tough blow for an already snakebitten Browns defense. Rubin is considered by many to be the best defensive player they have. The loss of him for any period of time in addition to fellow tackle Phil Taylor who is out with a torn pectoral will make it even tougher for Cleveland.

In his five-year career, Ruben has made 229 tackles, while forcing two fumbles and making 8.0 sacks. He was coming off a career year in 2011 where he made five sacks to go with 56 solo tackles.

The next player on the depth chart is rookie John Hughes.


Browns Vs. Giants: Cleveland falls 41-27

Behind running back Ahmad Bradshaw's stellar day, the New York Giants responded to an early 14-0 deficit Sunday by dropping the Cleveland Browns 41-27 at MetLife Stadium.

Bradshaw rushed 30 times for 200 yards and a touchdown against a battered Cleveland defense that lost leader D'Qwell Jackson to a head injury in the first half. Quarterback Eli Manning threw for 259 yards, three touchdowns with an interception against the Browns.

Cleveland scored on a two play, 22-yard drive after Bradshaw fumbled on the first offensive possession of the game, and Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden found Josh Gordon for a 62-yard touchdown to give their team a 14-0 lead with less than five minutes elapsed in the game.

But that wouldn't last. With a 17-10 lead, Weeden threw an interception at the New York 14 to the Giants' Stevie Brown, and the G-men responded with a touchdown to tie the game with three minutes to play in the half. Cleveland's Josh Cribbs fumbled the ensuing return, New York made the Browns pay with a touchdown and the Giants tacked on a field goal to lead 27-17 at the half.

The Giants defense held strong in the second half as Cleveland had 35 total yards in the third quarter.

New York's offense sealed the victory with Victor Cruz catching his third touchdown of the day with 5:14 to play in the third quarter, and third-string running back David Wilson cruised into the end zone on a 40-yard run in the fourth. Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson added a field goal in between the two Giants scores. His Browns trailing 41-20 with four minutes left in the game, Gordon caught his second touchdown catch of Sunday.

Weeden had 291 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on the day. He connected on 22-of-35 passes. Meanwhile, fellow rookie Trent Richardson took 17 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Fantasy stud: Ahmad Bradshaw

After putting up 133 yards on 35 through his three games played this season, Bradshaw had a breakout game against the Browns defense that lost D'Qwell Jackson in the first half. The Giants running back more than doubled his yardage for the season, taking 30 carries for 200 yards.

Odds: New York bettered the opening odds as 13-point favorites.

Injury update: Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson left the game in the second quarter with a head injury and did not return. New York running back Andre Brown also left the game with a head injury but tweeted from that locker room that he was OK. Giants tight end Martellus Bennett sprained his knee in the first quarter but returned.

Up next: Cleveland will host the Cincinnati Bengals next week while New York heads to San Francisco for a tough matchup against the 49ers.

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D'Qwell Jackson suffers concussion in loss

Cleveland Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson suffered a concussion in his team's 41-27 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Pat Shurmur confirmed the news to reporters after the game.

The Browns' defensive leader left the game with a couple of minutes to play in the first half with what was reported to be a head injury. Rookie L.J. Fort replaced Jackson, and by the day's end led the team with 10 tackles. Jackson had five tackles before he went to the locker room.

The loss of Jackson came in the midst of the Giants scoring off two Cleveland turnovers. New York scored three times in the final three minutes of the first half to dissolve the Browns' 17-10 lead and take control of the game.

Jackson has not had concussion problems in the past. He did, however, miss 26 games in 2009 and 2010 because of two pectoral muscle injuries.


Browns vs. Giants score: New York adds to lead

The New York Giants added to their lead over the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter and find themselves ahead 34-20 heading to the fourth.

With 5:14 left in the third quarter, Victor Cruz caught a 28-yard pass from Eli Manning to cap a 95-yard drive as the Giants doubled up on the Browns, 34-17. Cutting the lead to 34-20, Cleveland's Josh Cribbs returned the ensuing kickoff for 74 yards to the New York 30-yard line to set up a Phil Dawson field goal with 3:37 left in the quarter.

New York running back Ahmad Bradshaw has had his way with the Cleveland defense thus far, taking 20 carries for 131 yards heading into the fourth quarter. Manning has 250 yards passing for three touchdowns, all of which were connections with Cruz.

The Browns could only muster 35 total yards of offense in the third quarter.

Quarterback Brandon Weeden is 14-for-22 with 185 yards passing. Trent Richardson has 15 carries for 75 yards.


D'Qwell Jackson leaves game with head injury

Cleveland Browns linebacker D'Qwell Jackson has left the game against the New York Giants with a head injury.


Cleveland turnovers shift game in New York's favor

The New York Giants used two Cleveland turnovers to gain a 27-17 lead over the Browns at the end of the first half on Sunday.

With a 14-7 lead going into the second quarter, Browns kicker Phil Dawson connected on a 32-yard field goal with 13:48 to play in the first half to give Cleveland a 17-7 lead. New York responded with a drive that took nearly seven minutes to score on a Lawrence Tynes field goal from 29 yards out.

The Browns looked like they'd tack on another score deep in New York territory, but Brandon Weeden's pass was picked off by Stevie Brown at the Giants 14-yard line and returned 46 yards. Eli Manning then hit Rueben Randle for a 36-yard gain to set up an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown to tie the game.

On the ensuing kickoff return, Cleveland's Josh Cribbs fumbled the ball at the Browns 38-yard line, and the Giants recovered. Five plays later, Victor Cruz caught his second touchdown pass to give New York a 24-17 lead.

The Browns have moved the ball well, going for 228 total yards compared to 263 by New York. Running back Trent Richardson has 13 carries for 67 yards. Cleveland has struggled to stop New York's run game, however, giving up 80 yards on 15 carries by Bradshaw.


Cleveland jumps on New York after one quarter

A turnover and a 62-yard touchdown pass have given the Cleveland Browns a 14-7 lead over the New York Giants after one quarter.

On the first offensive snap of the game, the Browns recovered a fumble by Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw on New York's 22-yard line. Browns running back Trent Richardson rushed twice and scored on a 15-yard run to give Cleveland its first lead since a Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.


New York couldn't score on its next possession, and Cleveland went for the throat. Quarterback Brandon Weeden threw a 62-yard touchdown pass to Josh Gordon to strike with a five-play, 80-yard drive putting Cleveland on top by 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.

Weeden is 6-for-7 with 118 yards through the first quarter.

The Giants responded with an 11-play, 92-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock. Quarterback Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for a 3-yard touchdown pass to finish off the march.

Aside from the quick turnover score, the Browns have moved the ball well, tallying 155 total yards.


Mohamed Massaquoi out for Browns vs. Giants

The New York Giants will be without safety Kenny Phillips, wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, defensive tackle Rocky Bernard, cornerback Jayron Hosley, tackle David Diehl and linebacker Keith Rivers for Sunday's contest with the Cleveland Browns.

Hakeem Nicks has missed the last two games for the Giants with a knee injury he suffered in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. David Diehl also has not played since Week 2 due to a knee injury. Safety Kenny Phillips was injured in last week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

For the Cleveland Browns, wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin, quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, running back Brandon Jackson, defensive back Tashaun Gipson, offensive lineman Ryan Miller and tight end Alex Smith are inactive Sunday.

Massaquoi will miss his second straight game after leaving Cleveland's Week 3 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Running back Trent Richardson missed Friday practice following the birth of his third child, but he will be play Sunday against New York.


Mohamed Massaquoi ruled out versus Giants

The Cleveland Browns ruled out veteran wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi for Sunday's game against the New York Giants on Saturday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Massaquoi did not participate in practice this week, after coming up with a hamstring injury in Week 3 against theBuffalo Bills. He missed Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens with the injury on top of that.

Massaquoi has been quarterback Brandon Weeden's top target, and is essentially the only veteran receiver on the team, given that two rookies have seen playing time in Travis Benjamin and Josh Gordon. Greg Little, the No. 2 option behind Massaquoi, is only in his second year in the NFL.

You'll see less of Benjamin and more of Gordon on Sunday, though, as Benjamin was also ruled out for Sunday's game with a hamstring injury he suffered against Baltimore. Rookie Jordan Norwood was active for the first time against the Ravens thanks to Massaquoi's injury, and he caught four passes for 64 yards. It's likely he'll receive playing time as the third receiver.

This story originally appeared at SB Nation.


Browns rule out a pair of wideouts for Giants game

Cleveland Browns receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin are both doubtful for Sunday's game against the New York Giants. Both Massaquoi and Benjamin have been dealing with pulled hamstrings, and neither player participated in practice during the week. With the pair of wide receivers unlikely to play, rookie Josh Gordon looks like he'll be starting on Sunday.

Tight end Alex Smith has been ruled out of the game against the Giants while dealing with a concussion. It will be the third consecutive game that Smith has missed.

Safety T.J. Ward is listed as questionable, but he believes he's going to play on Sunday with his injured hand in a cast. Ward broke his thumb against the Baltimore Ravens, but after having surgery on it, he doesn't seem too concerned about doing further damage, via The Plain Dealer:

"I don't think anything else can happen to it, it'll be OK."

While Ward may be available for Sunday's game, safety Tashaun Gipson has been ruled out. Gipson has been dealing with an injured knee.

The Giants have already said they will be without a pair of starting players, Hakeem Nicks and Rocky Bernard. Another starter, tackle David Diehl, is doubtful for the game.


Trent Richardson, Giants defense exchange words

After seeing the Philadelphia Eagles carve up the New York Giants on the ground in Week 4, Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson expressed confidence that he could have similar success against the Giants in Week 5.

In a conference call with New York reporters on Thursday, Richardson said that while he knew the Giants would present a touch challenge, he also felt plenty of yards could be gained, via The Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Oh yeah. If we put a hat on a number, just cover them up, I think we can get yards on 'em. But at the same time, I know they're going to throw everything they can at us. I'm pretty sure they're going to game plan on our running game, and so we've got to make sure we open up the passing game so we can get some good runs in."

Several Giants defenders took some issue with the bravado of the young running back and fired back with words of their own. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka advised Richardson that he should let his game do the talking rather than his mouth:

"The thing that he's got to learn is that in this game, talking doesn't mean anything. You got to go out there and prove it to every team every single week. So if he proves it, I'll shake his hand and tap him on the butt. If he doesn't, I expect never to hear from him again."

The Giants are currently ranked 21st in the NFL in run defense. Richardson has rushed 64 times for 222 yards and three touchdowns on the season.


Running Richardson the way to a Giants upset

The Browns are 0-4 and heavy underdogs as they hit the road to face the defending Super Bowl champs. Ryan Alton previews what they must do to pull off the upset in the Meadowlands.


Cribbs, Rucker both full participants on Thursday

Desperate to get healthy in order to turn their 0-4 record around, the Cleveland Browns returned three injured players including receiver Joshua Cribbs to full duty at Thursday's practice.

Still one of 10 Browns players listed on the official Week 5 injury report, Cribbs was limited on Wednesday after suffering a vicious hit against the Ravens last Thursday. The eighth-year receiver joined injured teammates Usama Young and Frostee Rucker as full participants on Thursday for the first time this week.

Both held out of action for the second consecutive day, receivers Travis Benjamin and Mohamed Massaquoi each remain on the sidelines nursing a pair of hamstring injuries. Tight end Alex Smith and defensive back Tashaun Gipson also were not able to suit up on Thursday and appear doubtful for Sunday's game.

Also forced to deal with injuries of their own, the New York Giants will enter the weekend with seven players listed on their injury report. Among them is star wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has already been ruled out for Sunday due to a nagging foot injury. In addition to Nicks, the Giants could be without the services of pass rushing linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka as well as cornerback Prince Amukamara.


Hamstring injuries hampering Browns WR corps

Browns wide receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin both missed practice on Thursday with hamstring issues, and their status for Sunday's game against the New York Giants is up in the air. Massaquoi missed last Thursday's game against the Baltomore Ravens after injuring his hamstring against the Buffalo Bills. Benjamin originally suffered an undisclosed injury against the Ravens, but it's come to light that it was a hamstring problem.

Fortunately for the Browns, one of the receivers who has to step up in Massaquoi and Benjamin's absence, Josh Gordon, is drawing compliments from offensive coordinator Brad Childress for his improvements in practice, via the Akron Beacon Journal:

"I thought he had his best practice as a professional yesterday. I didn’t see any hesitation. I didn’t see him thinking about anything. I saw him playing fast, catching the football, just doing all the things that a professional receiver, you expect to see."

If either one or both of the two injured wide receivers can't play this weekend, Gordon will have a huge opportunity to stake his claim for more playing time.


Hakeem Nicks sitting vs. Browns

The Cleveland Browns won't need to defend against New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks on Sunday, as he has been ruled out for his third straight game.


Joe Thomas' struggles not due to injury

The Cleveland Browns have had few constants in recent years, but ever since Joe Thomas was made the team's franchise left tackle as the third overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, consistent play at that position has been one of them. Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler and has rarely been credited with giving up a sack, let alone giving up big pressure. But through four weeks of action in 2012, Thomas has looked rather human.

Of course, that's a statement that might be fine for most. For Thomas, he's been drawing a lot of criticism. Some have questioned whether or not he's still banged up after wearing a brace on his left knee, a wrap on his right one, and a stint on the team's injury report. According to Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, the knee is not an issue, via head coach Pat Shurmur.

Regardless, Thomas will need to step up his game heading into Sunday's game against the New York Giants. The Browns continue to find themselves in close games despite being huge underdogs, and against the strong New York defensive line, making mistakes at the premium left tackle position could be a game-changer. Still, it's not as though the Browns have been doing terribly in that regard - they rank 11th in the NFL - it's just that Thomas himself is rarely the culprit for pressure given up.


Massaquoi, Benjamin hobbled by hamstring injuries

The Cleveland Browns got back to the practice field on Wednesday, and they were once again without wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. According to The Plain Dealer, Massaquoi sat with a hamstring injury, which means his status for Sunday's game with the New York Giants is still up in the air. It's unfortunate, given the strong start to the season that he's enjoyed, becoming the primary target for rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

Massaquoi missed Thursday's game against the Baltimore Ravens, and suffered the injury in the second half of a loss to the Buffalo Bills. To further make things worse for the Browns, the report states that receiver Travis Benjamin also is dealing with a hamstring injury, which he suffered in last week's game.

As noted by the News-Herald, further absence from Massaquoi and a potential missed game from Benjamin could be beneficial for Jordan Norwood. Norwood says he is ready to get out there and play more after being inactive for the team's first three games. He was active against the Ravens due to Massaquoi's injury and caught four passes for 56 yards, and could be in line for some extended playing time against New York on Sunday.


Josh Cribbs back at practice

Browns' wide receiver Joshua Cribbs returned to practice on Wednesday after suffering a concussion in last Thursday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

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