Here are the storylines to follow as the Giants prepare to face the Browns:
1. ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Because of a three-game homestand coming off the bye week, the New York Giants have not played away from MetLife Stadium since traveling to London to face the Los Angeles Rams on Oct. 23. Additionally, they have not had a traditional road game since Oct. 9 in Green Bay. While the Giants enjoyed the time and won three games at home in consecutive weeks for the first time since 1962, first-year coach Ben McAdoo is excited about getting his team back on the road again. Big Blue has a two-week tour through the AFC North, beginning on Sunday against the winless Cleveland Browns. The Giants play the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 13.
"We haven't accomplished anything yet," said McAdoo, whose team is 7-3 with a five-game winning streak. "The highs are high and the lows are low and you're going have to put out three dumpster fires a day. Other than that, you need to focus on your preparation and get ready for the next opponent.
"It's an exciting week for our guys. Haven't been on the road in a little while, so anytime you get a chance to get on the road and bond and spend some time together, some quality time together that way, your team has a chance to grow and get closer."
2. STATE OF THE NFC EAST
Every team in the NFC, let alone the NFC East, is trying to keep pace with the first-place Cowboys (9-1), who won their ninth consecutive game last Sunday with a 27-17 victory over the Ravens. The Giants (7-3) and Redskins (6-3-1) did their part in Week 11, while the Eagles fell to 5-5 with a loss. All eyes will be on the Thanksgiving Day matchup between Dallas and Washington (4:30 p.m. ET) before Philadelphia plays Green Bay on Monday night.
The Giants don't have another divisional matchup until they play three in the final four games, beginning with a Sunday night visit from the Cowboys in Week 14.
3. DOMINANT DEFENSE
McAdoo called last week's game a tale of two halves, and that can be expanded to the Giants' season through 10 games. In the first five outings, the defense had just two interceptions and four sacks. In the last five, the Giants recorded eight picks and 14 sacks. That's largely due to Landon Collins' Pro Bowl campaign that now includes 80 tackles, three sacks and five interceptions, which are tied for the most in the NFL. Meanwhile, defensive ends Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon have turned up the heat on opposing quarterbacks. Pierre-Paul is coming off his first multi-sack performance since 2014, and Vernon has recorded a sack in three consecutive games.
4. RUNNING WITH AN EDGE
After four consecutive games with less than 55 yards rushing, the Giants notched a season-high 122 yards rushing against Cincinnati and 102 against Chicago, marking the first time they had back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since 2014. The offense looks to make it three in a row against the Browns, who are allowing 143.9 yards per game this season. Historically, the Giants have put up big numbers on the ground in their matchups with Cleveland. In their last two games against the Browns, they averaged 212 yards on the ground. They ran for 243 against the Browns at home in 2012 and 181 on the road in 2008. The Giants have rushed for at least 200 yards in 10 of their 50 games in the all-time series with Cleveland, including postseason.
5. TALE OF THE TAPE
Offensively, the Browns are 29th in total yards per game (311.1), 27th in passing (218.1), 25th in rushing (93.0) and 30th in points (16.7). Josh McCown will start at quarterback with Cody Kessler in the concussion protocol, head coach Hue Jackson announced on Monday. McCown is set to make his third start this season and 59th of his career. McCown has a career passer rating of 78.0 and a 59.1 completion percentage. Terrelle Pryor Sr. leads the team with 724 yards and four touchdowns on 56 receptions. In Week 3, he became the first player to have at least 120 receiving yards, 30 passing yards and 20 rushing yards in a single game since Giants legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford in 1959.
Defensively, Cleveland is 31st in yards (409.5), 22nd against the pass (265.5), 31st against the run (143.9) and 31st in points allowed (29.5). The Browns are also second-to-last with 16 sacks, led by Emmanuel Ogbah with three. Linebacker Christian Kirksey leads the team with 103 tackles.