Giants.com's Dan Salomone takes a look at the state of the team following Sunday's win:
The consensus around the Giants' locker room in Cleveland was that they didn't play their best ball on Sunday. But they'll take the 27-13 victory over the winless Browns and move on.
Big Blue now enters a decisive five-game stretch that includes three games in the NFC East and begins with an inter-conference matchup with the 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of their last two games.
"It's good to come in here and get a win," coach Ben McAdoo said. "I give Cleveland credit. They played a tremendous game and played their tail off. It's tough to win in this league, especially on the road. We haven't been on the road in a while, so it was nice to get a win. We'll enjoy this one, we'll learn from it, and we have to get better next week."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
After the Browns cut the deficit to seven points on Josh McCown's 21-yard touchdown pass to Corey Coleman with 8:17 to play, Eli Manning responded with a six-play, 73-yard scoring drive that resulted in a four-yard strike to Odell Beckham Jr. in the end zone. With that, the Giants extended their lead to 14 points with 5:10 left in the game, and Cleveland turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession. The Browns would get the ball back with less than two minutes to play, but Jason Pierre-Paul notched his third sack and forced a fumble that Kerry Wynn recovered.
A week after tying his career-high with 2.5 sacks, Pierre-Paul broke his single-game mark with 3.0 on McCown. He also forced a fumble and caught another in midair that was caused by defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins and returned it 43 yards for his third career touchdown.
JPP became the first NFL player with at least three sacks and a fumble-return touchdown of at least 40 yards in the same game since 1982, the first year individual sacks became an official statistic.
Brad Wing punted nine times for a net average of 44.7 yards and set a personal record with five punts downed inside the 20-yard line, including three inside the 10. The Browns never had better starting field position than at their own 37 except for one drive when they obtained the ball on Bobby Rainey's muffed punt in Giants territory.
FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
"I don't think we took a step back today, but I definitely think we could have taken a bigger step forward. We've got time. A couple more games left and now it's time to progress this week." – wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had the ninth multi-touchdown performance of his career to tie the franchise record also held by Homer Jones and Joe Morrison
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
Two of the longest winning streaks in the NFL can be found in the NFC East. Of course, everyone is trying to keep pace with the Dallas Cowboys, who won their 10th consecutive game with a 31-26 victory over the Washington Redskins (6-4-1) on Thanksgiving Day. The Giants own the other, having won their sixth-straight game on Sunday. They also held onto the first Wild Card spot, while Washington still controls the second.
"You always have to play better," Manning said. "You have to make improvements. Offensively, no doubt we have to be sharper and more consistent. Too many drives were three-and-outs. The defense was on the field too long. They're doing a great job, but we have to do our part."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE BROWNS
Cleveland has not won a game since Dec. 13, 2015 and fell to 0-12 in Hue Jackson's first season as head coach. The Browns, who have been outscored by a league-worst 155 points, now go on their bye week as they search for their first win of the year. They come out of the break with a visit from the rival Cincinnati Bengals.
"It has been a long 12 weeks," Jackson said. "It has been a long 12 weeks and unfortunate for the men in that room over there we have not been able to get them a win yet. We will go back to the drawing board, and we will come back tomorrow. I know these guys will come to work, they will be ready to go and we will work through tomorrow. Then they will, like I said, they will get out of here and we will self-scout ourselves and see where we are and go from there."
Giant.com hands out game balls in Sunday's win over the Browns