Week 10: New York Giants At Cincinnati Bengals
- QuarterbackEli Manning may be the best clutch quarterback in the league. He has made his reputation by throwing his most accurate and difficult passes in the fourthquarters of the most important games. However, Manning looked ordinary in the Week Eight victory over the Cowboy and was poor against the Steelers, competing 10-of-24 passes for 125 yards. He needs to turn it around quickly.Andy Dalton has been struggling after a solid start this year. He has size, strength and the ability to shake off pressure, but he has struggled to come throughwhen the game is on the line. The Bengals have lost four games in a row and the season is quickly slipping away. This will be a tough game for the Bengals to turn it around.
- OffenseThe Giants are going to try to make life easier for Manning by getting their running game going. That means Ahmad Bradshaw will get the majority of the carries because he can punish tacklers. Look for Manning to hit explosive wide receiver Victor Cruz early. When Cruz makes a contribution in the first part of the game that loosens up the New York offense.The Bengals have one of the better wide receiver duos in the league in A.J. Green and Andrew Hawkins. Green has the speed, size, leaping ability and hands tocause problems for the Giants while Hawkins is speedy and explosive. BenJarvus Green-Ellis runs hard, but he is struggling with consistency. He had 56 rushing yards against the Broncos.
- DefenseThe Giants bring the heat with their pass rush. While they have not been as consistent in getting to opposing quarterbacks as they have been in the past, the Giants sacked Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger four times in Week Nine. The Giants have been vulnerable to opposing receivers and they could have problems with the Bengals wideouts.The Bengals dare opponents to come at them with the interior run. It’s almost impossible to push around Geno Atkins and Domata Peko. Atkins is one of thebest interior defensive linemen in the league. The Bengals should be getting a great effort from cornerback Leon Hall. He had five tackles against the Broncos and is starting to look sharp.
- Special TeamsThe Giants are happy with their special teams. Coughlin knows that Lawrence Tynes may have missed a field goal attempt against the Steelers but that he is one of the most consistent kickers in the league. Steve Weatherford has a great leg for distance and directional punting. David Wilson has the speed to break long kickoff returns.The Bengals were done in by special teams coverage. They gave up a second-half opening kickoff return for a touchdown to the Broncos and that’s one of the primary reasons they lost the game. Kevin Huber averaged 51.5 yards on fourpunts against the Broncos and placed two of those kicks inside the 20.
The Giants are coming off a tough home game against the Steelers and they may have a hard time focusing on the slumping Bengals. However, if Tom Coughlin does not let his team’s concentration slip away, it will be very difficult for the Bengals to match the Giants punch for punch.