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updated: 10/7/2012 3:47 PM

Giants rally to keep Browns winless, 41-27

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  • New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz catches a pass for a touchdown during the first half Sunday against the Cleveland Browns in East Rutherford, N.J.

      New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz catches a pass for a touchdown during the first half Sunday against the Cleveland Browns in East Rutherford, N.J.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz danced behind the Cleveland Browns in the end zone, while Ahmad Bradshaw showed his best footwork all over the field.

Cruz made a career-best three touchdown catches and Bradshaw surpassed his yardage on the ground for the season with a career-high 200 as the New York Giants kept Cleveland winless, 41-27 Sunday.

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Eli Manning hit Cruz for scores of 3, 7 and 28 yards, prompting Cruz's trademark salsa after each touchdown. Bradshaw added a 4-yard run as he darted inside and outside and frequently broke feeble tackle attempts. Bradshaw's yardage on 30 carries easily beat the 132 he had heading into the game.

The Giants are 9-0 in games he has rushed for 100 yards or more.

New York (3-2) also forced three turnovers, including Chase Blackburn's interception in the end zone midway in the fourth quarter to clinch it. That led to rookie David Wilson's first NFL touchdown, a 40-yard scamper. The Giants rushed for 243 yards.

The Browns are 0-5 for the first time since their return season to the NFL in 1999 and have lost 11 straight dating back to last season. Their inexperience as the league's youngest team could not be offset by the skills of third overall draft pick Trent Richardson, who ran for a touchdown for the fourth straight game.

And their defense couldn't do anything with Cruz and Bradshaw.

Brandon Weeden, Cleveland's other first-round pick, hit another rookie, Josh Gordon, on two touchdown passes, but the Browns showed why they are winless with several critical errors in the pivotal second period, leading to 20 points for the Giants that pretty much decided matters.

Weeden was sharp for much of the first half, but made a terrible decision on third-and-1 from the Giants 25. With Richardson not on the field, Weeden rolled out and forced a pass to Gordon that sailed high, directly to Stevie Brown. The backup safety sped down the left sideline for 46 yards.

On the next play, Manning found Rueben Randle -- yet another rookie -- wide open on the left side for 36 more yards. Then Bradshaw highlighted his big opening half with his TD run to tie it at 17.

Veteran Joshua Cribbs made the next mistake for Cleveland, fumbling the ensuing kickoff. Brown was on the spot again for the recovery, and Cruz caught his second touchdown pass for New York's first lead.

Earlier, Cruz, who led the NFL in receptions coming in, caught a 3-yard pass from Manning. Cruz, Randle and Dominek Hixon stepped up nicely with Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden sidelined Sunday.

The Browns weren't finished handing away points. A pair of penalties led to a punt, and a 24-yard pass interference against Buster Skrine gave Lawrence Tynes a chance to kick a 40-yard field goal as the half ended.

Cleveland wound up with 10 penalties for 91 yards.

Before their collapse, the Browns looked sharp as the Giants made the gaffes that led to points.

Bradshaw's fumble when the ball hit guard Chris Snee's shoulder gave the Browns a quick break at the New York 22 and Richardson took care of the yardage with runs of 7 and 15.

Wideout Gordon then beat double coverage, although with no cornerback in sight, for a 62-yard score and a 14-0 edge that didn't last long.

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