The last time the New York Giants faced off against the Cleveland Browns, the Giants were coming off of a remarkable Super Bowl win against the New England Patriots.
The year was 2008 and each team would end their season on opposite ends of the win-loss column.
The Giants finished 12-4.
The Browns finished 4-12.
Earlier in the 2008 season, against the quite hapless St. Louis Rams, New York ran away with a 41-13 win.
The first though is the Giants won big in that game. The first thought is WRONG.
Cleveland beat the previously unbeaten New York Giants, 35-14.
Following a thorough digestion of the above mentioned information, a familiar, fairly cliched word popped in my head, "Revenge". As in "Revenge Game". Considering these teams only play every four years, it's hard to draw bad blood between them. At least between current players.
The Browns and Giants respective franchises have played each other since 1950. They played twice a year many, many times. In 1950 and 1958, they met in the playoffs. There's rivalry there. Any coach worth his salt is going to sprinkle history into his "night before the game" pep talk. I would.
THIS SHOULD NOT BE LABELED A "TRAP GAME". Trap games are games in which the quality of the two teams is so far apart, that the superior team gets 'trapped' by looking past the current opponent and on to the next.
The Giants and Browns are not equals, but "On Any Given Sunday..." ....anyways, here are THREE BOLD PREDICTIONS
PREDICTION NO. 1:
Cleveland Is Going To Win
The New York Giants just try too hard (yes, there is such a thing) and it showed last Sunday when the usually reliable Eli Manning didn't come through in the end.
Cleveland is tired of losing. Very tired of it. Especially rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden. Which leads me right into...
PREDICTION NO. 2:
Brandon Weeden breaks out, FINALLY.
Rookie running back Trent Richardson has shown improvement with each game. He is a tough back, who pushes and pushes with his legs to get whatever yards he can. Richardson's ability to continue doing this against the Giants will take pressure off of Weeden, allowing him to flourish.
PREDICTION NO. 3:
I didn't say it was going to be a blowout. These teams are more evenly matched on the field than they are on paper, and the field's where it counts.