MNF News and Notes

MNF News and Notes

Browns at Giants
By Judd Hall

Sure, Brett Favre was the talk of the town in the Meadowlands last Saturday. Yet that will be quickly forgotten by the hordes of fans that take part in welcoming the defending Super Bowl champions home when the Giants battle Cleveland.

The sportsbooks, both in Las Vegas and off shore, don’t have much of a take on this game by making the New York a slight two-point home favorite with the total holding steady at 35 ½. That could have something to do with how the G-men looked in their opening loss to the Lions or maybe with how home clubs are faring in the second week of preseason action.

Home “chalk” hasn’t exactly been profitable this week as it has gone 5-6 straight up, but a woeful 3-8 against the spread. Meanwhile totals have seen the ‘under’ coming through with a 7-4 mark, which is a stark opposite to the 9-7 record the ‘over’ had the previous week.

While a total of 35½ is a standard number to find during the regular season, it is rare during the exhibition to see it. That total has been installed by sportsbooks during the preseason just 15 times since 2006. And the ‘over’ has proven to pay off in this situation by coming through in 10 occasions.
   
The odds sounds are good that this contest will see the combined score soar, but that could be misleading.

Giants’ gunslinger Eli Manning has been urging head coach Tom Coughlin and offensive coordinator to open up the playbook more by throwing deep. It appears that the coaches are listening in training camp by throwing fades, amongst other long plays. We should see more of that on Monday Night with the knowledge that Manning will be participating in 25 plays.

Outside of those snaps, the public won’t see much else as New York makes the trip to the shores of Lake Erie come Oct. 13 when the results count.

Adding more credence to the ‘under’ taking place are the amount of players “Big Blue” will not have on the field. The list reads like a who’s who on the roster: linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka (groin), cornerbacks Sam Madison (sports hernia) and R.W. McQuarters (hip), wideouts Plaxico Burress (ankle), Steve Smith (hamstring), David Tyree (knee) and Mario Manningham (quad).

While no release has been made by the team officially, it has been stated by Coughlin that group will not play against the Browns.

The Browns aren’t much healthier coming into this tilt with Donte Stallworth, Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards all missing parts of training camp. Edwards’ injury can prove interesting after cutting his foot on Aug. 9, leaving him “out” of the starting lineup for the next two weeks. This means we’ll see Travis Wilson start in his place…and putting him in the catbird’s seat for the No. 3 receiver job.

Luckily for Cleveland, they didn’t use Edwards much in the opening game. After all, he only caught one pass for two yards. What will be a problem for Brady Quinn and Ken Dorsey under center, is not having rookie tight end Martin Rucker (knee). The Missouri star will be “out” indefinitely after getting injured last Monday during practice.

Despite those setback, the Brownies look poised to win with thanks to head coach Romeo Crennel. The former Bill Belichick disciple has gone 5-1 SU and ATS in six road preseason matches running the Browns. He’s also big on keeping the scores low as evidenced by his 5-1 record in favor of the ‘under.’

You can catch this contest on ESPN at 8:00 pm EDT.

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Manning to go 25 plays against Browns
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -Eli Manning will probably play into the second quarter when the New York Giants face the Cleveland Browns in their second preseason game Monday night.

''I think 25 plays is the word right now,'' Manning said Saturday before practice. ''Hopefully we can go out there and play well. They're a good team, they're a 3-4 defense, which we'll see a lot of in the next three preseason games.''

Anthony Wright, rookie Andre Woodson and David Carr will follow Manning.

The Giants probably won't show too much against the Browns because they play them again Oct. 13 in a regular-season game at Cleveland.

Kicker Lawrence Tynes (knee), linebackers Mathias Kiwanuka (groin) and Jonathan Goff (back), receivers Amani Toomer (knee), Plaxico Burress (ankle), Steve Smith (hamstring), David Tyree (knee) and Mario Manningham (quad) and cornerbacks Sam Madison (sports hernia) and R.W. McQuarters (hip) did not practice Saturday.

Coach Tom Coughlin said they probably would not play Monday.

If there has been a concern for Manning in training camp, it has been the injuries that have sidelined the receivers.

Burress and Toomer are veterans, so at least they know the offense, but Smith is only in his second season and Manningham is a rookie. Meanwhile, Tyree remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

''Hopefully they'll get back soon and we'll get some good work together and have everybody in the right spots,'' Manning said. ''Also, we're getting some good work with some of the young guys, and you've seen some guys step up and get better and maybe help us out during the season.''

Domenik Hixon and Sinorice Moss will start against Cleveland. They will be backed up by Michael Jennings, Brandon London, Craphonso Thorpe and D.J. Hall.

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Cleveland (0-1 SU and ATS) at N.Y. Giants (0-1 SU, 0-0-1 ATS)

The Super Bowl champion Giants take the field in front of their home fans at Giants Stadium in New Jersey when they host the Browns in this nationally televised preseason contest.

New York opened the preseason with a 13-10 loss in Detroit back on Aug. 7, pushing as a three-point ‘dog. Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning completed just two passes in six attempts for 19 yards while his backups performed better with David Carr going 10-for-13 for 104 yards and a touchdown and Anthony Wright completing 9-of-13 for 116 yards.

Cleveland also opened the exhibition campaign on Aug. 7, falling 24-20 to the Jets as a five-point home favorite. The Browns put up 14 points in the first half and starting QB Derek Anderson finished 4-of-5 for 20 yards and a touchdown in limited action. Brady Quinn followed Anderson and was an impressive 13-of-17 for 133 yards with an INT and Ken Dorsey finished up with 139 passing yards and two INTs.

Expect to see a little more from Manning and the starters tonight as coach Tom Coughlin has said they will get about 25 snaps or go into the second quarter. Wright will follow Manning with rookie Andre Woodson and Carr splitting time in the second half.

Browns’ coach Romeo Crennel said his starters will go into the second quarter tonight and has quieted any concerns about any quarterback controversy, giving Anderson all the snaps with the first unit the entire preseason. Quinn will come in midway through the second quarter and take it to the fourth quarter, with Dorsey mopping up from there.

New York is 4-2 SU and ATS in true home games at Giants Stadium (the annual game against Jets it is considered a neutral-site contest) and 9-7-1 SU and ATS in preseason games overall since Coughlin took over in 2004. The Giants have also cashed in three straight as a preseason chalk.

The Browns are 8-5 SU and 9-4 ATS since Crennel took over in 2005, including 5-1 SU and ATS on the road and 7-1 ATS as an underdog. Also, going back to 2004, the Browns are 4-0 ATS in the preseason following a straight-up defeat.

The last time these two teams met in the exhibition campaign was 2005 when Cleveland scored a 17-14 win at home as a three-point underdog.

The over is 3-1 in the Giants’ last four true home exhibition games but the under is 9-4 overall in the last three-plus preseasons for New York. For the Browns, the under is 5-1 in their last six preseason road games and 8-5 in their last three Augusts overall.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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What bettors need to know: Browns at Giants
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25 for Eli

Eli Manning will probably play into the second quarter for the New York Giants. “I think 25 plays is the word right now,” Manning said.

Anthony Wright, rookie Andre Woodson and David Carr will follow Manning but the Giants probably won’t show too much against the Browns because they play them again Oct. 13 in a regular-season game at Cleveland.

Wide receivers Amani Toomer (knee), Plaxico Burress (ankle), Steve Smith (hamstring), David Tyree (knee) and Mario Manningham (quad) and cornerbacks Sam Madison (hernia) and R.W. McQuarters (hip) did not practice Saturday and coach Tom Coughlin said they probably would not play Monday.

“Hopefully they’ll get back soon and we’ll get some good work together and have everybody in the right spots,” Manning said. “Also, we’re getting some good work with some of the young guys, and you’ve seen some guys step up and get better and maybe help us out during the season.”

Domenik Hixon and Sinorice Moss will start against Cleveland . They will be backed up by Michael Jennings, Brandon London, Craphonso Thorpe and D.J. Hall.

Prime time for Cleveland

Cleveland gets to warm up to the bright lights before it plays five nationally televised games in the regular season, three on Monday night, one on Sunday night and one on Thursday night. It will mark the most prime-time appearances for the Browns since the 1988 and ’89 seasons.

“Being able to have a Monday night game is going to be awesome,” left tackle Joe Thomas said. “It will be the first Monday night game for a lot of the guys. Hopefully, when we play our first Monday night in the regular season, it won’t be a new thing now.”

The Browns are treating the game like a big deal, going into a very hostile environment in New York and having their young guys experience going against the Super Bowl champions.

Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel will play his starters into the second quarter.

Putting it on the line

Browns defensive end Robaire Smith is still trying to build chemistry with new starters Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers.

“I don’t think it matters if it’s preseason or regular season,” he said. We know those guys are going to compete. They’ve got a nice offensive line. So this will be a great test for our defensive line.”

Smith respects the Giants’ offensive line, anchored by center Shaun O’Hara, an ex-Brown.

“This Giants line works together real good, probably the best in the NFL,” Smith said. “We’re going to have to work together fitting blocks to knock those guys back. It will be the best test for us before this season starts.”

The acquisitions of the 350-pound Rogers and the 320-pound Williams are expected to free up linebacker Kamerion Wimbley to get more sacks. Cleveland’s 28 sacks were tied for 26th in the NFL last season. Wimbley had only five, after setting the Browns rookie record with 11 in 2006.

Anderson no fluke

Derek Anderson’s mechanics have improved and he was impressive in his first camp as the starter. He showed great chemistry with Braylon Edwards before the receiver cut his foot a week ago while he was jogging in socks and Donte’ Stallworth stepped on him. Anderson also relied on tight end Kellen Winslow and seems to be developing rhythm with Stallworth.

“He’s more comfortable with the system, with the players who surround him; that allows him to be better,” Crennel said. “He knows he’s the guy in charge and he knows the system. He’s been improving ever since camp started.”

Travis Wilson was chosen by Crennel to start in place of Edwards on Monday. The game will be his shot at winning the No. 3 receiver job behind Edwards and Stallworth. Joe Jurevicius is sidelined indefinitely after a staph infection in his right knee required three cleanouts.

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NFL Daily Research
By Indiancowboy

Cleveland vs. Giants

The sides are even between these 2 teams here, given the Giants are a small favorite at -1, the public has slowly been buying down the Browns down to -1 as it opened up at -3 at the LVSC, but having said that, Ken Dorsey only had a sub 40% completion percentage in his last start with a rating less than 20, Brady Quinn was solid as usual with over a 70% completion rate, Anthony Wright and David Carr played well for the Texans in his last start, the Giants lost 10-13 in thier last ballgame, Cleveland lost 20-24 at home in their last ballgame, and granted, this game could go either way, I do like the over a bit, as I can't see the Giants putting up just 10 points at home once again, if the Jets can put up 24 against the Browns, one things that this will be a 21-17 type of ballgame given how good the Giants defense has been, the line has been coming down steadily, but a small lean on the over and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Browns win this game outright, but I don't think there is an incredibly strong play here one way or another.

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