Week 10 on the NFL schedule will be sure to present plenty of tremendous action including when the New York Giants (6-3) travel to Paul Brown Stadium to face another AFC North opponent in the form of the Cincinnati Bengals (3-5). Both teams are coming off of close losses last week and need to pick up a win this week in order to get back on the right track for the second half of the season.
The Giants offense is currently ranked 11th in total offensive yards gained per game (372.9 yards), ninth in passing yards gained per game (263.4 yards), tied for 15th in rushing yards gained per game (109.4 yards) and sixth in points scored per game (28.2 points). Their defense is struggling this seaso,n ranked 25th in total offensive yards allowed per game (382.3 yards), 26th in passing yards allowed per game (264.3 yards), 19th in rushing yards allowed per game (118 yards) but 10th in points allowed per game (20.6 points).
Eli Manning is having a terrific season so far passing for 2,426 yards, 12 touchdowns, nine interceptions and completing 61% of his attempts and will need to keep it up this week versus a Bengals defense that struggles against the pass. Manning will look to get the ball in the hands of his top playmakers in the passing game; Victor Cruz (57 receptions for 717 yards and 7 TD), Hakeem Nicks (27 receptions for 390 yards and a TD) and Martellus Bennett (32 receptions for 374 yards and 3 TD) in order to make things happen both down field and across the middle in possession situations to move the chains. When the Giants need to gain yardage on the ground, expect them to pound the rock with Ahmad Bradshaw, who has rushed for 618 yards and four trips to the endzone on 141 carries this season. The Giants defense will need a huge day from Jason Pierre-Paul on the line, Michael Boley in the linebacking core and Antrel Rolle in the secondary; if those three players can step up and rise to the occasion then it will be beneficial for Big Blue’s D.
The Bengals offense is currently ranked 17th in total offensive yards gained per game (355.5 yards), 11th in passing yards gained per game (259.6 yards), 26th in rushing yards gained per game (95.9 yards) and tied for 14th in points scored per game (23.6 points). Their defense is ranked 20th in total yards allowed per game (357.4 yards), 19th in passing yards allowed per game (240.4 yards), 17th in rushing yards allowed per game (117 yards) and tied for 25th in points allowed per game (27.3 points).
With the exception of his interceptions (11), Andy Dalton is having a stellar second season in the NFL, passing for 2,130 yards, 14 touchdowns and completing 63.9% of his attempts. Dalton’s favorite two targets this season have been second-year wideout A.J. Green (51 receptions for 735 yards and 8 TD) and third-year tight end Jermaine Gresham (34 receptions for 433 yards and 2 TD); if Dalton can find ways to get these two the ball and make plays then good things are in store for the Bengals during this game. When it’s time for the Cincinnati offense to run the ball they will rely heavily on BenJarvus Green-Ellis to do so who has rushed for 487 yards and three scores on 142 carries this season. The Cincinnati defense will need a big game out of their exceptional pass rushers Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson to get pressure on Manning and linebacker Rey Maualuga to clog the middle and keep the defense in their correct sets.
This game is going to come down to which team’s defense can play better than the other, with both units struggling as of late. I have more faith in the Giants defense to do so despite the fact that they are ranked lower in every category except for points allowed per game. I like the Giants to earn a tough road win in this one 24 – 20.