Coaches: Butch Davis (22-28) is in his fourth season with the Browns; Tom Coughlin (1-1) is in his first season with the Giants.
Injuries: Browns -- T Ryan Tucker (quad), DT Gerard Warren (pectoral) and TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (ankle) are out, TE Steve Heiden (knee) is doubtful, RB Lee Suggs (neck), CB Anthony Henry (vertigo), CB Daylon McCutcheon (finger) are questionable, DE Ebenezer Ekuban (groin), G Paul Zukauskas (knee) are probable. Giants -- RB Ron Dayne (calf), LB Carlos Emmons (groin), LB Barrett Green (ankle), WR Jamaar Taylor (hamstring) and CB Frank Walker (foot) are questionable.
Key stat: Browns kicker Phil Dawson's streak of 16 consecutive field goals is the longest in the NFL.
About the opponent: Giants quarterback Kurt Warner ended a personal eight-game losing streak dating to the 2001 NFC Championship with a 20-14 victory last weekend over Washington. It also ended the team's nine-game losing streak, tying a franchise record. The Giants forced seven Redskin turnovers -- three fumbles and four interceptions -- as free safety Brent Alexander led the way with two picks. Three second-quarter takeaways led to 17 points and the Giants scored all 20 in that quarter. New York won despite going 1-for-13 on third down and rushing for 62 net yards.
Matchup to watch: Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey vs. Browns strong safety Robert Griffith. New York is trying to make Shockey more of a blocker, but that might not be the case as Shockey faces his old college coach, Butch Davis. Baltimore's Todd Heap and Dallas' Jason Witten had big days against the Browns, Witten going against Griffith. This week, Davis could try a linebacker on the tight end.
The Browns win if . . . : William Green ignites the running game with some breakaways and quarterback Jeff Garcia holds the ball long enough to find an open receiver.
Gameday Preview: Browns vs. Giants Sunday, September 26, 2004 1 P.M. TODAY AT GIANTS STADIUM
Capacity: 80,242. Playing surface: Grass. Television: WOIO Channel 19. Radio: WMMS FM/100.7. Coaches: Browns' Butch Davis, 22-28, in fourth season, 0-1 in playoffs. Giants' Tom Coughlin, 1-1, in first season with Giants, 73-65 overall, 4-4 in playoffs. Series: Browns lead, 25-18-12.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1. DAVID VS. GOLIATH
Joaquin Gonzalez, the former Miami walk-on, makes his first NFL start at right tackle, his natural position, in place of the injured Ryan Tucker. He will line up against Michael Strahan, the NFL active leader in career sacks. Strahan has 115 sacks of 56 different quarterbacks in his 12 NFL seasons. Jeff Garcia is not one of his victims.
2. KEEP SHOCKEY UNPLUGGED
Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey expressed frustration this week with his ineffectiveness in the team's new offense. Coach Tom Coughlin responded by telling the two-time Pro Bowl player to have patience, your catches will come. In two games, Browns safeties have given up 19 catches to tight ends, including nine to Dallas' Jason Witten and six to Baltimore's Todd Heap.
3. DO SOMETHING SPECIAL
The Browns were decimated by injury this week, but most of the injured players were not regular contributors on special teams. Through two games, the Browns kicking units have been exceptional. They have to turn it up a notch to offset the losses on offense and defense.
BROWNS: The battered Browns will play without TE Kellen Winslow Jr., RT Ryan Tucker, DT Gerard Warren and DE Courtney Brown, all starters. They're also likely to be without CB Daylon McCutcheon and RB Lee Suggs. Joaquin Gonzalez will replace Tucker against 2003 NFL sack-leader Michael Strahan. QB Jeff Garcia will try to rebound from his dismal 0.0 rating against the Dallas Cowboys. Michael Lehan might also replace CB Anthony Henry, who's suffering from vertigo. The Browns have forced seven turnovers in two games.
GIANTS: Broke a nine-game losing streak last week with a 20-14 victory over the Redskins, but they needed seven takeaways (three fumbles and four interceptions) to win by a narrow margin. QB Kurt Warner hasn't thrown an interception in 92 attempts. In two games against Garcia, neither Strahan or any other Giants have a sack. RB Tiki Barber leads NFL rushers with 6.2 yards per carry. WR Amani Toomer seeks his third straight 100-yard game against AFC teams.
KEY INJURIES: Browns: RT Tucker (quadriceps), DT Warren (pectoral), TE Winslow (ankle) and DE Brown (foot) are out; TE Steve Heiden (knee) is doubtful; CB McCutcheon (finger), RB Suggs (neck) are questionable; CB Henry (vertigo), DE Ebenezer Ekuban (groin) are probable. Giants: S Shaun Williams (knee) is out; WR Jamar Taylor (hamstring) and CB Frank Walker (foot) are questionable; RB Ron Dayne (calf), LB Carlos Emmons (groin) and LB Barrett Green (ankle) are probable.
THE LINE: Giants favored by 3½.
- Mary Kay Cabot
Giants 21, Browns 17
The good news: The Browns don't suffer six injuries.
MARY KAY CABOT
Browns 17, Giants 13
Browns rally back from Black Sunday.
Giants 20, Browns 13
Browns are facing severe mismatches in at least two areas.
Browns 13, Giants 10
Difference between a Brazil nut and Giants coach Tom Coughlin? Coughlin is from New York.
Browns 20, Giants 17
Davis doesn't have to fabricate sick kid in hospital for pre-game motivational speech.