CLEVELAND -- Eli Manning kept the New York Giants on the heels of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday by throwing three touchdown passes in a 27-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The Giants (8-3) have won six straight games and trail the Cowboys (10-1) by two games in the NFC East. The Browns (0-12) are the only winless team in the NFL.

"There's a feeling of disappointment because we haven't won a game yet," said Browns left tackle Joe Thomas, a 10-year veteran. "Today we felt offensively we didn't do enough to help the team win.

"The defense played one of their better games. We were able to move the ball at times, but we had some critical mistakes and I think that was the difference."

Manning threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and one to wide receiver Dwayne Harris.

A 21-yard touchdown pass from Browns quarterback Josh McCown with 8:17 left cut the Giants' lead to 20-13, but Manning answered with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Beckham with 5:10 left.

"I'm glad we got the win, but we still have a lot of work to do," Giants defensive end Oliver Vernon said. "The game got pretty tight. We have to buckle down and stick to our game plan. We have to start fast and play at a high level in all three areas."

The defenses from both teams dominated the first quarter. Each team was looking for a break, and the Giants got the first of the game when a fumble by Browns running back Isaiah Crowell was recovered by the Giants on the Cleveland 31.

Manning needed only two plays after the recovery to break the scoreless tie. He rolled right and threw a pass for 18 yards to Roger Lewis. One play later, he hit Harris on the left side of the end zone with 7:03 left in the first half.

All seven of the Giants' previous victories were by seven or fewer points. Despite their largest win of the season, the players were not thrilled with needing the late touchdown to ice the game against the struggling Browns. The Browns outgained the Giants 343-296 yards.

"It was frustrating, and we didn't close the game the way we wanted to, either," Giants running back Rashad Jennings said. "It was a hard-fought game against a good team, and if you throw out their record, that's a good team out there."

The Browns got their own break later in the second quarter when Giants returner Bobby Rainey muffed a punt. Rookie linebacker Dominique Alexander recovered at the New York 32, but the Browns could get only a 20-yard field goal from Cody Parkey.

"Our inability to finish in the scoring kind of outdid us today," Browns coach Hue Jackson said. "I thought for the most part our defense did some good things and held these guys in check.

"We weren't able to consistently do some things on offense. Josh McCown is playing as hard as he can play. There's nothing he can do about the sack fumbles."

Parkey kicked off with 1:43 left in the first half. Three plays and 30 seconds later, the Giants took a 14-3 lead when Manning connected with Beckham from the Browns 32. Beckham beat Browns cornerback Joe Haden on a short crossing pattern and then won the race to the end zone.

The quick Giants touchdown left time on the clock for the Browns to mount a drive before halftime. Aided by a 35-yard pass interference penalty on Giants cornerback Eli Apple, the Browns moved to the Giants 7 with nine seconds left in the half. A pass in the end zone intended for wide receiver Terrelle Pryor was incomplete. Parkey kicked a 25-yard field goal to end the half.

Defense kept the Browns in the game in the third quarter, but the Giants' defense held their ground, too.

The Browns' best chance to cut into the deficit came when they started a drive on the Cleveland 37 after a Giants punt, but the Giants did not yield even one first down on the series.

In the end, the defense of the Giants prevailed, ironically after the Browns' biggest play of the game. A pass from McCown to Pryor for 54 yards moved the ball to the New York 41, but three plays later McCown was pressured and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned a fumble 43 yards for a 20-6 Giants lead.

"(Pierre-Paul) played with tremendous effort and physicality," Giants coach Ben McAdoo said. "He was all over the field, and to come up with a fumble and run it back, great effort."

Pierre Paul finished with seven tackles and three sacks.

NOTES: QB Eli Manning made his 194th straight start with the Giants. It is the longest streak for any active player in the NFL regardless of position ... Adam Gettis started at LG for the Giants, replacing Justin Pugh, who is out with a knee injury. ... Browns LB Corey Lemonier got his second sack of the season when he stopped Manning in the first quarter. ... Browns CB Tramon Williams missed his second straight game with a knee injury.