The term ‘Any Given Sunday’ is as cliche as it gets in the National Football League, but with a chance to take over first place in the NFC East, the NY Giants shouldn’t take their opponent lightly this Sunday.
Trap game. Upset watch. Overlooking your opponent. Not many people expected the NY Giants to have this problem in 2020, but with the Cincinnati Bengals looking to spoil New York’s unlikely playoff run this Sunday, they mustn’t let them.
Difficult match-ups with potential playoff teams in the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens loom large in the distance, but the Giants need to avoid overlooking the Bengals this weekend. With the many unpredictable elements within their opponent this weekend, Joe Judge’s squad has to make sure they weather the upset storm.
The Bengals starting quarterback this week is Brandon Allen – a journeyman signal caller who’s been around the block, stopping in Jacksonville, Los Angeles and Denver before ending up with the Bengals in Cincinnati. He’ll be taking over the gig after the devastating injury to last year’s number one pick, Joe Burrow.
Allen started three games for the Denver Broncos last season, actually pulling an upset of his own against the Cleveland Browns, who were led by current Giants tight ends coach, Freddie Kitchens.
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The former Arkansas Razorback also had the Minnesota Vikings on the ropes as well – forcing them to comeback from a 20-0 halftime deficit to defeat him. No, Brandon Allen isn’t going to go out and put the NFL on notice – but he’s more than serviceable when trying to catch a team sleeping.
He’ll have plenty to work with, as the Bengals have one of the best receiving corps in the entire league. AJ Green, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins are a group that many teams have had difficulty shutting down this season.
Green isn’t the same All-Pro receiver he’s been, but after catching his first touchdown in two years this past week, he’ll certainly be looking for more. Boyd and Higgins represent the future at the receiver position for the Bengals, and the future has arrived – they’re both posting impressive numbers week in and week out.
The good news is that the cavalry is coming for the Giants, as it looks like their second round safety, Xavier McKinney, will be returning to help quiet Cincinnati’s receivers. Along with James Bradberry, Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers, it should be a fun battle between the two position groups.
While Brandon Allen will be trying to pull an upset, the Giants’ signal caller, Daniel Jones, will be trying to do something no Giants’ quarterback has ever done – leave The Queen City with a victory. The Giants have never gone into Cincinnati and beaten the Bengals, with Eli Manning and Phil Simms going a combined 0-4 in their attempts.
Jones has been playing much better during his teams two game win streak, making smart decisions and not turning the ball over. If he wants to continue to silence his doubters and lead the Giants to their first division title in nearly a decade, he’ll have to continue his solid play.
The Giants have some serious momentum for the first time in years, and are playing meaningful football after Thanksgiving. With a real shot at a division title, home playoff game and possibly even more, a loss against the Bengals would be a disaster.
The Giants will leave The Queen City one of two ways – feeling like kings, in firm control of the NFC East, or jesters – falling victim to a trap, watching their playoff chances dwindle.