Giants Can’t Fall Victim To A Trap Game vs. Browns
The New York Giants are riding a five-game winning streak as they prepare to take on the 0-11 Cleveland Browns on Sunday. A win would put the Giants in firm command of the fifth seed in the NFC wildcard race.
After the Browns game, the Giants will play five games against teams that are in playoff contention. Those teams have a combined record of 34-19-1 heading into Sunday. It would be human nature for the Giants to look past the Browns and accidently place their focus ahead to upcoming games. This has all of the makings of a trap game, and head coach Ben McAdoo needs to make sure the Giants do not start the game flat like they did last week against the Bears.
The Giants are heavy favorites to defeat the Browns (as they should be). But if they approach the game thinking they can just show up and win, the Browns could pull off a huge upset.
Despite their 0-11 record, the Browns have been competitive at times this season. They put up a good fight against the Steelers for three-quarters last week, and four of their losses have come by less than seven points. The Browns do have talented players such as cornerback Joe Haden, receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., linebacker Jamie Collins, and tight end Gary Barnidge.
Barnidge could cause trouble for the Giants. He is very talented, and second on the Browns in receiving yards. Giants’ linebackers have struggled the past two weeks covering Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert and Bears tight end Zach Miller. So if the linebackers struggle again in coverage, look for defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to have one of his safeties cover Barnidge.
As with every Giants game, they will look to get Odell Beckham Jr. involved early and often. The Browns will more than likely put Haden on Beckham wherever Beckham is lined up. Beckham should win this one on one matchup, but Haden has the ability to cover Beckham as well as anybody in the league.
So the Browns do have the potential to pose some problem for the Giants. So the Giants will need to approach this game as if they’re playing an NFC East rival instead of an 0-11 team. If the Giants are focused, they should have their first double digit win of the season on Sunday.
Jason Leach is an analyst for Pro Football Spot for the New York Giants for @pfspot. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKLeach