Giants (5-3) vs Bengals (3-4-1)
are coming off a bye week. The previous game before that the Bengals played the
Washington Redskins in London, and ended up going into overtime to finish with
a 27-27 tie.
The Giants got off to a fast start last Sunday against the Eagles.
Two interceptions turned into Giants touchdowns, and they managed to keep the
lead throughout the game to finish with a 28-23 win.
Giants - Eagles
Most fans would be happy if their
home team was in the playoffs for the last five straight seasons. The unhappiness
for a Cincinnati fan sets in when they are one and done, as they have been since
the 2011 season. Even dating back to playoffs in 2005 and 2009, it ended the same
way. Marvin Lewis is in his 14th year as the head coach of the Bengals so he's
been through all that. Right now his thoughts are just getting his team to the
playoffs. Winning instead of tying in that last game with the Redskins would have
had his team even with the Ravens and Steelers in the AFC North division at 4-4.
this season started, Lewis lost his offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, to Cleveland
when Jackson took the head coaching job there. Despite the fact that Jackson has
coached his Browns team to an 0-9 record, it hurt the Bengals to lose him and
have to make the necessary changes. Just as Jackson had been promoted to replace
Jay Gruden in 2014, quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese has taken over as the new offensive
coordinator. Compared to last year, the Bengals are doing even better in passing
and rushing yardage, but have scored just over five points less per game.
Andy Dalton got it all together last year. After throwing for 52 touchdowns and
37 interceptions in 2013-14, Dalton had his best numbers going, 25 touchdowns
with only 7 interceptions, before being sidelined with a fractured thumb. This
year at the halfway mark, Dalton has 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions after losing
two of his key receivers to free agency. With Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu gone,
A.J. Green has become even more of a target for him, with over 30 percent of Dalton's
passes being thrown his way.
To put things in perspective, Green has caught
59 passes for 896 yards, and their next two leading receivers Brandon LaFell and
Tyler Boyd combined, have less receptions and less yardage. Dalton now has another
go to target in tight end Tyler Eifert. After missing most of the season with
a back injury, Eifert had an outstanding game against the Redskins with 9 catches
for 102 yards and a touchdown.
There's also running
back Giovani Bernard, who has more receptions than wide receivers LaFell and Boyd.
Used in that fashion, he has been involved in about an equal number of offensive
plays as top running back Jeremy Hill, who leads the team with five touchdowns.
Both runners had outstanding performances against Cleveland and the Redskins in
their last two games. Only six teams average more rushing yards, and just three
more passing yards, but the Bengals big problem this year is getting points up
on the board.
defense has slipped in all major areas since last year, the most important one
being points allowed. Opposing teams averaged 17.4 points a game and that's up
to 23.6 now. They did reach back a bit to the past by signing defensive end Wallace
Gilberry to rejoin the team just this week. Gilberry tried his hand with the Detroit
Lions after the 2015 season, but fell on injured reserve and was released.
were mentions over the bye week that some changes might be made by defensive coordinator
Paul Guenther. After seeing his unit give up more than 500 yards to Washington
last time out, Guenther made it known that the team has to step up their game.
Gilberry could be part of a plan to help an under performing defensive line rotation,
and offer more of a pass rush to get at opposing quarterbacks.
had to waive cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris to make room for Gilberry, but they
are deep at that position. While the Bengals secondary has played fairly well
against some top receivers, and they will be focused on Odell Beckham, Jr., they
have not done well at preventing yards after the catch. Beckham is one of the
top five receivers in that area. Guenther has been after his guys to tackle better,
as nearly half the passing yards they've given up this season have been after
The Giants biggest problem week after week
has been in establishing a decent running game. They have been a one-dimensional
offense with their version of a ground game, relying on short passes to the running
backs. They know that the Bengals give up
a lot of yards on the ground as well as in the air, and might catch a slight break
in that middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, one of their best run stoppers, will miss
That goes both ways though as left guard Justin Pugh is out and
his likely replacement, Brett Jones, will be up against Geno Atkins, one of the
best defensive tackles in the league. Right tackle Bobby Hart will have to deal
with Carlos Dunlap, and now possibly at times
Wallace Gilberry, though that could backfire.
If Gilberry isn't yet familiar enough with
their defensive schemes, mistakes could happen.
Rashad Jennings gained just 26 yards on 11 carries last week, and he has 12 catches
for 73 yards on the year. Ben McAdoo believes in rookie running back Paul Perkins,
who had 32 yards, also on 11 carries in that game.
Beckham, Jr. will once again be Eli Manning's biggest target. Beckham has settled
down a bit from his earlier season self destructive paths, and over the last four
games has caught 22 passes for 373 yards and all five of his touchdowns. Sterling
Shepard can also hurt the Bengals with his speed. Victor Cruz might not play in
this game coming off his ankle injury, and even if he does, expect to see more
of Roger Lewis Jr.
The Giants have shown that they
can be a tough red zone defense. Opponents score touchdowns less than 40 percent
of the time in the red zone, making this defense the top team in that area. The
Bengals offense will put that to a test as they have been scoring touchdowns about
70 percent of the time from in the red zone over their last three games.
they weren't prepared for it last week when the Eagles came at them with big passing
plays from their rookie quarterback, but the Giants gave up a season high five
passes that went for 25 yards or more. This week they definitely know they will
have to be ready for Andy Dalton throwing to A.J. Green. The Bengals rank in the
top five teams in passing, and with Dalton throwing 33 passes that have traveled
for 20 yards or more.
The Giants secondary has allowed the second most yards
per game to receivers this season. It's a good thing that they have been able
to clamp down in the red zone, but will they be able to against this Bengals team
that also has a rushing game that needs to be respected? It doesn't help that
starting linebacker Jonathan Casillas was added
to the injury report with a calf injury and is listed as questionable for this
week was a big game for the Giants because it was against a division rival. Let's
make mention here that all three of the Giants losses have come against teams
that made it to the playoffs last season. Cincinnati is another one of those teams,
and the Giants have two more coming up after that. Will the Giants continue that
trend to these teams?
The Giants have won their third straight game while
the Bengals have played for a loss, a loss, and a tie. We'll try to ignore that
the Bengals have just had a bye week to fix their problems and figure that as
a wash, with them being the traveling team playing in a late night game. The Giants
are finding ways to win, and we figure they will to continue on their streak.
NFC East Games
at 1:00pm Vikings (5-3) at Redskins (4-3-1)
at 1:00pm Falcons (6-3) at Eagles (4-4)
Sunday at 4:25pm Cowboys (7-1) at Steelers
The Redskins are the only team favored to win in these games.
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have played in 8 games this season and 7 have been decided by a touchdown or less.
rank last in the NFL, averaging only 68.2 rushing yards a game.
Odell Beckham, Jr. is averaging a career-best 15.4 yards per catch.
Giants are 3-6 against Cincinnati overall, with those three wins playing as the
Giants will present Tom Coughlin,
Justin Tuck, and Ernie Accorsi as Ring of Honor inductees on Monday.
Andy Dalton’s averages 8.2 yards per pass, which is the league's third-highest.
A.J. Green leads the NFL with 59 receptions and is second in yards with 896.
last won on the road on Monday Night Football in 1990.
Bengals are 0-3-1 when an opponent passes for
250 yards or more.
Bengals are 0-8-1
in their last nine games against teams with winning records.
played at MetLife Stadium earlier in the year against the Jets for a 23-22 win
on Sept 11.
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Nov 20 - Bears at Giants.
Nov 27 - Giants at Browns.
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