The Bengals and Giants go into tonight’s game both badly needing a win. The Giants obviously need to win because the Cowboys keep rolling and the Bengals need a win to pull within a half-game of the Baltimore Ravens. This shapes up as an offensive shootout that could go down to the wire. Let’s take a look at the keys to tonight’s game and what each team will need to do to win the game?
The Bengals defensive line must control the line of scrimmage- Going into this season the Bengals strength on defense seemed to be on the defensive line. At times early in the season that seemed to be the case, but lately, the Bengals have struggled big time getting to the QB and stopping the run. Kirk Cousins torched the Bengals in London for over 500 yards if the Bengals can’t get pressure on Manning, he will do the same to them. The Bengals brought back Wallace Gilberry back to the team this week, will that signing help? The Bengals only chance at stopping the Giants lies in their ability to pressure Manning.
Will the Bengals play OT Cedric Ogbuehi?- Cedric is one of the worst right tackles in the NFL. The Bengals know this, but for some reason keep playing him. In the past few games he will play a few series get destroyed then they will replace him with veteran Eric Winston. They will then go down and score, but for some reason. they will bring Cedric back in and when they do he gets beat constantly. Ogbuehi has been a huge bust his footwork is atrocious, his hands are bad, and he shows absolutely no emotion while getting his ass handed to him.
Can the Giants run the ball?- If they will ever run the ball successfully it will be tonight, the Bengals have not been able to stop anybody all year.
Biggest Matchups to watch
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert vs. Giants S Landon Collins and Bengals WR AJ Green vs. Giants CB Janoris Jenkins. Collins’ three interceptions are tied for most among NFL safeties. Eifert is fully healthy and coming off a 100-yard effort. Jenkins has been quietly playing lights out as a cover corner, with teams thinking twice about attacking his side of the field much. This week, he’ll probably draw the assignment of trying to bottle up Green, who leads the NFL with 59 receptions and whose 896 receiving yards are second behind Julio Jones of the Falcons.
Bengals DT Geno Atkins vs. Giants LG Brett Jones. Jones is filling in for Justin Pugh, who’s out with an MCL sprain. The Bengals’ pass rush, which has struggled to get going this season, could take advantage of that matchup. This matchup could be the key to the Bengals winning the game. If Atkins dominates and gets to Manning on a consistent basis it will be harder for Manning to get the ball to his weapons.
Prediction: I think Atkins has a monster game and puts pressure all night on Manning, I believe Eifert will have a big game as will Beckham for the Giants. The difference, in the end, will be the Bengals ability to run the ball. Bengals 30 Giants 27