Giants pound the Browns, 37-34
Alright, so maybe the score doesn’t show that the Giants pounded the Browns, but if you watched the first quarter and a half, it was definitely a lopsided match. With all the “starters” in (I use the term loosely because the Giants were missing Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Steve Smith, while Cleveland was without Braylon Edwards), Eli Manning showed that maybe the Superbowl victory was no fluke as he bombed two touchdown passes to receiver Domenik Hixon in the first quarter. Hixon, a third year receiver out of Akron who had only one reception for a measly five yards all of last season, looked like a Pro Bowl player in this one (4 catches for 63 yards and 2 TD), dragging his feet in the endzone on both touchdown grabs and also torching the Browns special teams for a kick off return touchdown. Even with the great game, at this point it doesn’t appear that Hixon will be a relevant fantasy player this year…but if injury strikes one of the top three receives on the team, keep his name in mind as a possible late season sleeper.
For the Browns, this game could not have started any worse. After giving up 30 points in the first sixteen minutes of play, Cleveland fans were forced to watch as the train known as Osi Umenyiora ran over their star quarterback, forcing him out of the game with a possible concussion. At this point, there doesn’t appear to be an official report on the degree of the injury, but when we hear more we’ll keep you posted. Overall the Browns just looked terrible, including a Derek Anderson to Jamal Lewis (6 rushes for 13 yards) botched hand-off in the redzone after a great kick return set them up in prime position to score. With Anderson out, backup Brady Quinn came in and didn’t play all that poorly (7 of 12 for 124 yards and a TD), showing that even without Anderson, there’s a good chance that this team will put up good fantasy numbers, but they’re going to have to play a heck of a lot better than they did in this game.
In case you were curious about a few other fantasy relevant players in this one, there wasn’t much to write home about. Newly acquired Browns receiver Donte Stallworth caught one pass for -1 yards, while teammate and top tier tight end Kellen Winslow also had only one catch for 10 yards. Giants running back Brandon Jacobs ran for just 24 yards on seven carries.
With week two of the preseason in the books, I hope everyone can contain their excitement for Thursday, when the San Francisco 49er’s take on the Chicago Bears to kick off week three. It should be a great one (note: sarcasm)…especially since the Bears have eased everyones worries and named a starting quarterback in Kyle Orton!