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Giants' 2007 path stirs the Browns

October 13, 2008|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

For the Cleveland Browns, their bid to save their season starts tonight against the 2008 New York Giants. The Browns' inspiration?

The 2007 New York Giants.

"It inspires the entire league," Cleveland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson told reporters of the Giants' overcoming an 0-2 start last season to eventually win the Super Bowl. "Everyone talks about it. The way they started and the way they finished gives everybody hope."

Entering Week 6, the Giants led the NFL in most major offensive categories and had the NFC's top-ranked defense. At 4-0, New York is the only unbeaten team in the NFC and is off to its best start since opening with 10 wins in a row in 1990.

Although the Giants and Browns haven't met in the regular season since 2004, they faced each other in an exhibition game in August, when New York's starters tore off 30 unanswered points in the first half. The final score was much closer -- the Giants won, 37-34 -- but only because the game was more competitive when the scrubs took the field.

Said Browns linebacker Andra Davis of the Giants' first-stringers: "They embarrassed us."

That should provide Cleveland with even more motivation tonight. The 1-3 Browns have had a week off after beating Cincinnati, 20-12, on Sept. 28. Linebacker Willie McGinest returns, having missed two games with a groin injury, and receiver Donte Stallworth, hampered by a bum quadriceps, is expected to make his regular-season debut.

A Cleveland player to watch is quarterback Derek Anderson, who suffered a concussion in the exhibition against the Giants. He played better in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati but has struggled this season. In the wings is Brady Quinn.


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