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Giants Defeat Bengals, Extend Win Streak to Four Games

Rashad Jennings, #23 (Getty Images)

Rashad Jennings, #23 (Getty Images)

The New York Giants (6-3) worked on all cylinders as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5-1) 21-20, on Monday night in the Meadowlands.

The Giants started off their first drive in the best way possible. Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning utilized passes to tight end Will Tye, and receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard. Manning would cap off the drive with a ten yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Jerell Adams to give the Giants an early 7-0 lead.

The Bengals would reply on their first drive as well. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton would complete a 71 yard pass to tight end Tyler Eifert to set them up in the red zone. After an illegal motion penalty on wide receiver A.J. Green, Dalton would reply with a 13 yard touchdown pass to Green, tying the game at 7-7.

Interceptions are bound to happen when watching a Giants game, and that is what happened in the second quarter. Manning would attempt a pass to receiver Roger Lewis, but the pass was intercepted by Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick on the Giants 28 yard line. Dalton would be unable to capitalize with a touchdown after two incomplete passes and a completion to Green for no gain. Bengals kicker Mike Nugent would kick a 25 yard field goal to give the Bengals a 10-7 lead with 4:30 left in the second quarter.

On the next drive, the Giants would put themselves back on the scoreboard. After an 18 yard completion to Beckham, a Bengals offside penalty, a six yard Manning rush, a Bengals illegal use of hands penalty, and a ten yard completion, Manning had his answer for Cincinnati. Manning would complete a ten yard pass to Beckham to put the Giants up 14-10 heading into halftime.

At the start of the third quarter, Giants kicker Robbie Gould would kick the ball off to Bengals return man Alex Erickson, who would return it for 84 yards to set the Bengals up at the Giants own 13 yard line. Bengals running back Jeremy Hill would run four yards on the first play. On the second play, Hill would take it nine yards for the touchdown, thus giving the Bengals a 17-14 lead. Later on in the quarter, the Bengals would tack on additional points after a Nugent 38 yard field goal, giving them a 20-14 lead.

On the last drive of the third quarter, heading into the fourth, the Giants wanted to take the lead and keep it. After a long 24-yard rush by Giants running back Rashad Jennings, Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo made the gutsy decision to go for it on a fourth and goal. This decision would pay off as Manning threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Shepard to take a 21-20 lead early in the fourth quarter.

The Bengals would attempt to retake the lead on the next drive. After a 20 yard pass to Eifert and a defensive holding penalty on Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins, Dalton would attempt a pass up the middle for tight end Tyler Kroft. However, a man on a hot streak had something to say about that. Giants’ safety Landon Collins would intercept the pass to put the proverbial dagger in the Bengals. The Giants would hold on in the remainder of the fourth quarter to win their fourth game in a row.

“To be able to finish the game in the four minute [drill] says a lot about your team and a lot about your offense,” said McAdoo. “…We’re humble in victory. We have to go get ready for next week.”

The Giants offense seemed to be clicking in full circle. In particular, the wide receivers. Beckham, Shepard, and Adams would all haul in individual touchdown receptions. The key to success for the Giants offense is to have all players contribute on the offensive side of the ball. The Giants proved that today by having multiple contributors throughout the game.

“You’ve got to show up and you’ve got to play great football,” said Manning. “Not only will you lose, you’ll get embarrassed. We’re not in a position to relax one bit.”

“Don’t put your defense back on the field, three, four times in a row,” said Beckham. “In the fourth quarter, anything can happen, this is the NFL; the other team is great, too, so just finding ways to close it out on the offensive end.”

Landon Collins continued his hot streak by hauling in another interception, his fourth in three games. Collins is proving to be a steal from the 2015 NFL Draft, after surprisingly falling to the second round. Now Collins is showing teams that passed up on him what they are truly missing out on.

“I’ve never had a stretch like this,” said Collins. “Not in college. Not in high school…It means that I’m doing a great job of what I do. I’m being accountable. Last year, I had a bad season. I’m making up for it this season.”

“More reps, playing more games, got a lot of time as a rookie, that helps,” said McAdoo of Collins’ improved game. “He’s seeing things cleanly, seeing things clearly, watching the ball hit his hands and catching them.”

“…he is making plays,” said Jenkins. “He is all over the ball. He is the leader of the secondary.”

The Giants defense had multiple key stops on the Bengals throughout the game, but their sheer dominance in the fourth quarter sealed the victory for the Giants. With the way the defense has been playing, they are going to create problems for their opponents in the coming weeks.

“We knew coming in this is a playoff team,” said Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon. “…We knew with them coming into our house we had to play football. We had to play Giant football.”

“Not to let them score,” said Collins on the Giants’ red zone defense. “…Cause a turnover, get the ball back to our offense or make them kick a field goal…That’s the outcome we’re trying to do when we’re down there.”

The Giants look to continue their winning streak and maintain second place in the NFC East as they face the Chicago Bears (2-7) at MetLife Stadium this coming Sunday.


Team Stats

Total Plays: 72

Total Yards: 351

Penalties: 2-15 yards

Turnovers: 2

First Downs: 23

Player Stats

Eli Manning: 28/44, 240 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 81.6 QBR.

Rashad Jennings: 15 rushes, 87 yards.

Odell Beckham Jr. 10 receptions, 97 yards, 1 TD.

Sterling Shepard: 5 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD.

Jerell Adams: 3 receptions, 18 yards, 1 TD.

Landon Collins: 5 tackles, 1 INT.

Olivier Vernon: 10 tackles, 6 assists, 1 sack.

Damon Harrison: 8 tackles, 2 assists, 0.5 sack.

Jonathan Casillas: 5 tackles, 2 assists, 0.5 sack.

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