The Cincinnati Bengals are losing their shot at a postseason berth, and they will face a crucial contest against a team coming off a loss of their own in the New York Giants on Sunday in Week 10.
Even though he struggled last week against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Giants quarterback Eli Manning has won eight of his last nine overall games against teams from the AFC. Cincinnati, at 3-5 overall and losers of four consecutive contests, need to stop their bleeding before the playoff picture fades away. In his last two games against teams from the NFC, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown five touchdowns and one interception with a quarterback rating of 111.4.
Meet the Cincinnati Bengals
During their four-game losing skid, the Bengals defense has allowed two 30-point games - one of them against the Cleveland Browns - while the offense has posted a high score of 24 during that same span. Wide receiver A.J. Green leads the league in touchdown receptions, however, with eight.
Last week, the Bengals led the Denver Broncos 20-17 in the fourth quarter before surrendering two touchdown passes from Peyton Manning to eventually lose, 31-23. Cincinnati is only 1-3 at home this season after finishing the 2011-12 season 4-4 at home.
Meet the New York Giants
After edging out victories over their division rival Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in the previous two weeks, the Giants were topped by the Steelers in Week 9, 24-20, after getting outscored 14-0 in the final frame. New York's offense sputtered, as the Giants only picked up 182 total yards for the day.
Manning's line 10-of-24 for 125 yards and an interception continues a recent slump, as the Super Bowl MVP has thrown a total of one touchdown and four interceptions in the last three weeks combined. Defensively, the Giants rank third in the NFL with 25 total sacks for the season.
Local Takes: Bengals
He seemed to be the only defensive back that could get a hand on Peyton Manning's balls [Editor's note: This is totally an innocent statement]. He out-muscled Decker for the first interception and made an over-the-shoulder grab for his second pick of the game. Newman wasn't perfect; he got beat for a touchdown later, but he kept the Bengals in the game with timely turnovers.
Local Takes: Giants
Kelsey O'Donnell of Big Blue View breaks down Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton:
So far in 2012 the Bengals are not having the year that had last year and are entering this Sunday's game against the New York Giants in a must-win situation in order to stay in a playoff race. The Bengals are 3-5 and have lost their last four games in a row. Dalton, however, is still putting up decent numbers. He's thrown for 2,130 yards and 14 touchdowns with a 63.9 completion percentage, but he does have 11 interceptions and has been sacked 22 times already. Dalton is seeing significantly less protection than he did last year resulting in the amount of turnovers and sacks.
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Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
#nyg antrel rolle on AJ green's comments: " If our defense has holes in it, then he shouldn’t have a problem exploiting it. "— Ed Valentine (@bigblueview) November 8, 2012
This is one argument against replay in the NFL; pace is destroyed. Must take on the college version. Review upstairs, fix it, play game.— Josh Kirkendall (@CincyJungle) November 9, 2012
@Patricia_Traina - Patricia Traina, who covers the Giants for Inside Football and The SportsXchange.
For those of you wanting to see the no huddle, OC Kevin Gilbride said that it has been discussed to help kick start the offense.— Patricia Traina (@Patricia_Traina) November 8, 2012
@whodeyweekly - Nick Seuberling, host/producer of the Who-Dey weekly podcast.
I know its just one game, and we've been spoiled with GREAT LB play all year, but I thought Lemur had a great day Sunday.— Nick Seuberling (@whodeyweekly) November 5, 2012
Tom Coughlin said the Giants' defense was "soft". So a game against a quarterback who has thrown 11 interceptions in eight games should be a good thing for them to get right.
The pick: 28-21, Giants.
The Giants opened the week as six-point favorites, according to OddsShark, but are currently between 3½ and four-point favorites in Cincinnati. The over/under point total for the contest opened at 48½ and now sits at 49.
The Bengals hit the road for the first time in four weeks when they travel to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in Week 11. New York, on the other hand, will go into their bye week in Week 11 before hosting the Green Bay Packers in a Sunday night showdown in Week 12.