The New York Giants continue their winning streak with a 21-20 victory at home over the Cincinnati Bengals. As emerging playoff hopefuls, Big Blue closed out a tough game and put forth a tremendous defensive effort to secure the win.
Game Balls: The Giants’ defense looks virtually unstoppable with Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon anchoring the D-line. The team might be suffering in the sack column, but as Coach McAdoo put it, “stats are for losers”. Their defensive presence goes beyond statistical measures as the two defensive ends have been the heart and soul of the team. The pass rush looked more alive than ever in Monday’s matchup with a rush of energy in the final minutes. Vernon finished the game with ten tackles and a fourth-quarter sack that led the Giants to get possession and secure a victory by letting the cock wind down. Pierre-Paul put a lot of pressure on the Bengals’ offense with five tackles and two passes defended. The defense was also backed by big man Damon Harrison in the interior, leading their efforts with eight tackles, while working alongside Jonathan Casillas to bring down Andy Dalton in the fourth quarter. The secondary remains incredibly effective with Landon Collins once again showcasing his dominance. The second-year safety helped close out the game with a big play in the fourth quarter, marking his fourth interception in the past three games. Much to the delight of Jerry Reese, the Giants defense has lived up to the hype.
Goats: While the Giants looked like a strong united front, there was some offensive woes from the young guys on the team. Roger Lewis took on the role of a starter with Victor Cruz sidelined due to an injury. It was his moment to showcase himself, but it would be a long game after he dropped a crucial pass in the first half.
The Bengals’ offensive line hindered their efforts to create momentum late in the game. The Giants sacked Dalton twice in a row in the fourth quarter, diminishing their strong efforts in the second half. Watching Dalton go down back to back was painful and it lead to the Bengals' final drive of the game, forcing them to succumb to their fourth-quarter struggles.