CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns are 2-0 in the preseason after pulling out a 10-6 victory over the New York Giants (0-2) in front of the home fans and a national-television audience on Monday Night Football at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The Browns got two scoring drives from rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, and that proved to be all they needed to pull out the victory.
Despite being sacked twice for 22 lost yards, Kizer completed eight of his 13 attempts for 74 yards and rushed for a team-best 35 yards on five carries, including a one-yard touchdown run that put the Browns in front for good.
And for the second straight game, Kizer did what veteran quarterback Brock Osweiler could not do, lead the offense down the field and finish drives with points on the scoreboard.
Despite having a better completion percentage than in his first start of the preseason, Osweiler failed to move the Browns into the end zone, or even scoring position in the first two series of the game. Following the second series, the Browns turned the offense over to Kizer.
Osweiler went six for eight for 25 yards with a long pass going for a gain of nine. One of Osweiler’s two misses came on a tipped ball at the line of scrimmage, which resulted an interception.
Former Ohio State kicker Mike Nugent gave the Giants a 3-0 lead over the Browns with a 38-yard field goal with 13:05 to play in the first half.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning got the eight-play, 37-yard drive rolling when on third and seven from his own 46-yard line, he found wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for a 12-yard gain. Then, Manning went back to Beckham on the next play, and the athletic receiver caught the ball for an 18-yard gain down to Cleveland’s 24-yard line, but suffered a left lower-body injury when he was hit on the knee with his foot planted in the ground.
The Giants called on Nugent for the field goal when they managed just four yards over the next three plays after Beckham exited with the injury.
The Browns took a 7-3 lead over the Giants when rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer ran a sneak for a touchdown from the one-yard line with 1:10 to play in the first half.
After running back Duke Johnson Jr. was stopped for no gain on a run up the middle from the one-yard line, Kizer called his own number and followed a blocker into the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the preseason. Kizer had 18 rushing touchdowns in his career at The University of Notre Dame.
Kizer needed just five plays to lead the Browns 28 yards after the defense came up with a turnover.
On a second-and-14 play, quarterback Eli Manning flared out a pass to wide receiver Sterling Shepard for no gain, but Browns defensive back Jason McCourty ripped the ball out of his hands and held on for the fumble recovery.
The Browns extended their lead over the Giants to 10-3 on a field goal from kicker Zane Gonzalez with 7:23 to play in the third quarter.
Gonzalez converted a 39-yard field goal to cap off a 15-play, 68-yard drive that took 7:37 remaining in the third quarter.
Kizer went five for eight for 37 yards on the scoring drive. Additionally, he ran for gains of three and 11 yards, respectively. One of Kizer’s three misses on the drive came when he led rookie tight end David Njoku too much on a seam route up the left side of the formation.
Njoku got a good burst off the line of scrimmage and ran through an attempted jam, but could not stretch enough to haul in the pass. The ball caromed off of his hand and fell incomplete.
The Giants chipped away at the Browns’ lead when kicker Aldrick Rosas buried a 47-yard field goal through the uprights of the west end zone at FirstEnergy Stadium with 1:54 to play in the third quarter.
Rosas launched a line drive that wasted little time covering the 47 yards before splitting the uprights, and his kick, which had plenty of distance left to spare on the end of it, capped off a 12-play, 46-yard drive that took 5:29 off the third-quarter clock.
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