Cincinnati Bengals vs New York Giants
Trying to keep pace with the surprising Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, the New York Giants go for their fourth consecutive victory when they host the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night (Enter Contest). The Giants have rebounded from a three-game skid by sandwiching a pair of home wins around a “road” victory at London to remain two games off the division lead. New York is coming off a 28-23 victory over Philadelphia, continuing a trend of being able to win the close games. All five victories have come by a margin of 20 points.
Prior to last week’s bye, Cincinnati played in London and came away with a 27-27 tie with Washington. They are looking to close the gap with the first-placed Baltimore Ravens (5-4) in the AFC North. Coach Marvin Lewis’ team have been held to 17 points or fewer in each of its losses.
ABOUT THE BENGALS (3-4-1)
Quarterback Andy Dalton has a streak of four straight games with a 100-plus passer rating snapped in London, but he has thrown for 2,349 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. Running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have both rushed for a TD in each of the last two games. Star wide receiver A.J. Green is second in the NFL with 896 yards, including three games with at least 169 yards, and the offense received an added boost with the return of tight end Tyler Eifert against the Redskins. Eifert had 13 touchdowns last season and showed what a difference-maker he can be in his first start with nine catches for 102 yards and a score. Cincinnati’s defense has been vulnerable through the air, allowing an average of 262.4 yards. Cincinnati has lost three in a row at the Giants, but beat the Jets 23-22 at MetLife Stadium in the season opener.
ABOUT THE GIANTS (5-3)
Quarterback Eli Manning is coming off a four-touchdown performance against Philadelphia, the third time he has tossed at least three scoring passes in a game this season, but he also was picked off twice for the third time. Like Cincinnati, the Giants have a stud wideout in Odell Beckham, who caught a pair of scoring passes against the Eagles to give him five in the past four games. The biggest problem for the Giants has been a stagnant running game led by Rashad Jennings that ranks last in the league with a meager average of 68.3 yards per game. Rookie Paul Perkins could see more time this week to help work the clock and protect a defense that yields 277.4 yards passing. New York last won four straight games during the 2013 season.