It was a bad day for Big Blue yesterday, and they didn’t even play. All 3 division rivals won their respective games. The heat is on.
The fact is this game is bigger than last week. They have won three straight games, and have not had a four-game winning streak since 2013. The 3-4-1 Bengals have probably under-performed through their first eight games, so this won’t be easy. The Bengals come to town with a top-five passing offense led by quarterback Andy Dalton,Tight End Tyler Eifert and perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, who leads the NFL with 112 receiving yards per game. Cincinnati has 33 passes for 20 yards or more this season, the fifth-most in the league. The Giants, while clamping down with the best red zone defense (opponents have scored on just 39.3 percent of trips inside the 20), have given up big plays lately, including a season-high five passes of 25 yards or longer last week against the Eagles. So the ability to cut down on the big explosive plays is paramount.
The improved Giants Defense will be a challenge for the Bengals. They lead the league in red zone touchdown percentage (39.29 percent). To assist, I would not be surprised to see Steve Spagnuolo double Eifert with some combination of Keenan Robinson, Landon Collins and Jonathan Casillas.
On offense it’s obvious, we need to establish the run. Maybe Perkins gets a few more carries; Jennings just isn’t getting it done. Get some type of running game going and that limits the Cincinnati D from teeing off on every play. That gives Eli time to take advantage of the Giants receiving corps, who will most likely be without Victor Cruz. Regardless if Cruz is active, look for another healthy dose of Roger Lewis Jr., who has great hands but can’t block. The Giants had a bit more success getting their receivers open last week thanks to the decision to move them around. That needs to continue this week, even though the Bengals typically don’t move their corners, Adam Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick, around.
The home team has won every time these teams have met. So let the underdog Giants keep the streak going. It will be a tight one, maybe another nail biter with 2 minutes remaing. Let’s go Big Blue.
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