What could go wrong went wrong for the New York Giants today in Cincinnati as they were pounded by the Bengals 31-13. This game had moments where it just looked like the Giants either didn’t get off the plane early enough or were already one foot back onto the plane to go back home. It was that bad.
The Bengals wasted no time punching the Giants right in the mouth by jumping out to a 14-0 first quarter lead. The Giants showed signs of life towards the end of the first half and were able to trim the lead to 17-6 at the half, however they could not get anything going in the 3rd quarter and two crucial turnovers by Ahmad Bradshaw (fumble) and Eli Manning (interception) were cashed in for 14 points from the Bengals. That pretty much was the ballgame as the Bengals took a commanding 31-6 lead heading into the 4th quarter. A late 2-yard touchdown run by Andre Brown gave the Giants at least something to feel good about on offense, however this game was already over.
Eli Manning has now gone three straight games without a touchdown pass. He came close to getting one in the second half, however Victor Cruz dropped a beautifully thrown pass to him in the end zone. It pretty much was symbolic of how things went for the Giants on offense today. Cruz was a non factor in this game with 3 catches for 26 yards.
Andy Dalton was electric in the first quarter for the Bengals at quarterback, and threw a career high 4 touchdowns in the game. Big play wide receiver AJ Green backed up his observations of the Giants defense by finding the holes in the secondary. Green finished with 7 catches for 85 yards, 56 of those yards came on a touchdown pass from Dalton in the opening drive of the game that got the Bengals off and running.
Manning was sacked 4 times today and Ahmad Bradshaw again could not deliver a solid running game for the Giants. Throw in a few dropped passes and the Giants just looked like they were just going through the motions out there and the result was the final score.
The Giants lost to a team that came into today losers of 4 straight games and clearly on the verge of being knocked out of the playoff picture. This lost hurts just as much the one last week to the Steelers and the case can be made that it hurts even more. Head coach Tom Coughlin already went out and called his defense “Soft” and they went out today and did nothing to challenge that assessment. This team needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out what is it going to take to fix what’s gone wrong over the last month. They had a golden opportunity the last two weeks to put a choke hold on the NFC east division and failed to do so. They’ve went from a team being talked about as the best in the league to fighting off the growing thought across the league that they are on the verge of another November where they struggle.
If there is team that should be happy to see the bye week, it’s the Giants. They look tired and mentally may just need the time off to recharge. They’ll have to figure things out now because when they return in two weeks, Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will be waiting for them.