EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The game started Sunday as if it would be a memorable one for rookie running back Trent Richardson.
Two days after his first son was born, he rushed for 22 yards on his first two carries, including a 15-yard touchdown. He was backing up his pregame opinion that he could run on the Giants’ defense.
But Richardson and the Browns faded, losing 41-27 to New York to fall to 0-5.
“We had a strong start. The one thing we’ve got to do is keep our foot on the pedal,” Richardson said. “We’ve got to make sure we finish the game. We’ve got to play 60 minutes.”
The Browns didn’t.
Richardson totaled 128 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches, but it wasn’t the huge day he had envisioned. The Browns were forced to abandon the run in the second half, limiting his chances.
Richardson averaged 4.8 yards on 17 carries for 81 yards. He caught five passes for 47 yards and dropped one.
“The Giants had a real good defense,” he said. “They weren’t the Super Bowl champs for nothing.”
Many of the Giants didn’t appreciate Richardson’s comments during the week.
“The thing that he’s got to learn is that in this game, talking doesn’t mean anything,” linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka told the Newark Star-Ledger.
Richardson said the trash talk didn’t affect him.
“I don’t listen to the comments,” he said. “I play my game and I play like I’ve been coached and I play like I always played my whole life. So them people calling me out, I don’t hear that stuff.”
Richardson lost 2 yards on a third-and-1 in the second quarter, then wasn’t in the game for a critical third-and-1 later in the quarter when Brandon Weeden was intercepted. Richardson, who played more in passing situations than he had in the first four games, defended coach Pat Shurmur.
“If you’re an athlete and you’re a competitor and you’re a man, of course, you want the ball,” Richardson said. “But you can’t have the ball each play. We’ve got to do different stuff. Coach made the right decision.
“There’s no complaining about me not being in on third-and-1. The game is much bigger than me.”
Richardson became the first Browns rookie to rush for a touchdown in four straight games. He appreciated congratulations on the birth of his son, but didn’t want to discuss it.
He did talk about the difficulties of starting 0-5.
“It’s frustrating to not have a win yet,” he said. “We work too hard not to have a win.”
- Middle linebacker and captain D’Qwell Jackson left the game in the second quarter with a concussion. He had five tackles to continue his fast start to the season. “You can somewhat kind of expect it the way D’Qwell plays, he’s a reckless player,” cornerback Sheldon Brown said. “I’m surprised he hasn’t missed more time. I think he’ll be back, but that’s one of those unfortunate things you can’t prepare for. That’s why I don’t gamble on the game, because you don’t know who’s going to play in the game.” Undrafted rookie L.J. Fort replaced Jackson in the base and nickel defenses, collecting nine tackles.
- Cornerback Dimitri Patterson left the locker room on crutches and in a boot after injuring his left ankle. He played the first half, then was carted into the locker room early in the third quarter.
- Shurmur said defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin suffered a lower-leg injury late in the game. He left in a walking boot.
On the board
Rookie receiver Josh Gordon scored the first two touchdowns of his career, hauling in 62- and 20-yard passes from Brandon Weeden. Those were his only catches.
“Personally, I think it was something that I need to get done for myself,” he said. “When I contribute to a win, that’s when I’ll consider it a breakout game.”
Gordon lined up in the slot on the 62-yarder and ran past linebacker Chase Blackburn.
“We needed that. He needed that,” Weeden said. “I liked that play all week. I was hoping we’d call it.”
Gordon started and saw his most extensive playing time due to injuries at the position. He was targeted eight times.
- Rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson, a fourth-round pick, made his NFL debut. He played solely on special teams. Johnson missed the first four games after suffering ribs and oblique injuries in the preseason finale. He could eventually take defensive snaps from strongside linebacker Scott Fujita.
- Free safety Eric Hagg had a limited role after being a healthy scratch the previous two weeks. He started the first two games, then was benched.
- Usama Young started Sunday, but the Browns needed another active safety with undrafted rookie Tashaun Gipson (knee) inactive.
- Receivers Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin were inactive with hamstring injuries and didn’t make the trip. The Browns could’ve promoted undrafted rookie Josh Cooper from the practice squad, but chose to go with four receivers.
- Tight end Alex Smith (concussion) was inactive again. He hasn’t practiced or played since getting hurt Week 2 against the Bengals.
CBS’ Jason La Canfora reported Joe Banner could be officially introduced as a Browns executive at the NFL meetings Oct. 15-16 in Chicago. The sale of the team from Randy Lerner to Jimmy Haslam III is expected to be approved at the meetings.
Banner was a longtime president of the Eagles and his arrival in Cleveland has been widely reported for months. His job title with the Browns is unknown, but La Canfora said he will report directly to Haslam.
Haslam has refused to discuss the Banner reports. The addition of Banner would seem to signal the exit of president Mike Holmgren, whose contract runs through 2014.
- Receiver Greg Little didn’t have a catch. He was targeted twice.
- Receiver Jordan Norwood had career highs in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (81).
- Kicker Phil Dawson passed Doug Dieken (1971-84) and moved into third place by playing his 204th game as a Brown.
- Running back Montario Hardesty played his first offensive snap of the season, lining up with Richardson and Chris Ogbonnaya in a fullhouse backfield. Richardson got the carry off left tackle for 3 yards.
- Betty Buckley sang the national anthem. She won a Tony Award for her Broadway performance of “Cats” but may be better known for her role in TV’s “Eight is Enough.”
- Many players wore pink cleats, gloves and wristbands to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.