Eli Manning is in a bit of a slump. He slept through most of a Giants’ win in Washington three weeks ago, nearly blew an insurmountable lead against the Cowboys, and failed to lead his New York Giants past the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday despite a handful of controversial calls going the Giants’ way. Against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10, he won’t necessarily need to be at his best, but Manning will need to play better to avoid consecutive losses to AFC North opponents.
The Cincinnati Bengals don’t get the respect they deserve, but part of that is because they are 3-5 and without a statement win on the season. The Bengals’ only wins this season came against the Jags, Browns, and Redskins. Andy Dalton is having a solid year and A.J. Green has emerged as a legitimate number-one wide receiver, fueling a strong passing attack. BenJarvus Green-Ellis gives the offense balance and a legitimate presence near the endzone. The Bengals are certainly capable of an upset this week, but they’ll have their hands full with the defending Super Bowl champs.
The Bengals will need to protect Dalton from one of the best pass rushes in the league in order to get the deep passing game open. The Giants defense has been causing turnovers and keeping the Giants in games despite a recently-inefficient offense. If the New York Giants get to the young Cincinnati quarterback, the Bengals offense will be out of sync all day. If the Bengals protect Andy Dalton and stay committed to a balanced attack, they can steal a win at home.
Still, the New York Giants might be the best road team in football. With confidence stemming from their Super Bowl runs, this team has the unparalleled ability to win on the road against anyone. The Cincinnati Bengals have a decent team with some underrated pieces, but the New York Giants are better all around.
I don’t see the Bengals defense being able to contain the New York Giants. Ahmad Bradshaw is on pace for another 1,000-yard season and Eli Manning has already thrown for over 2400 yards. The Giants offense averages over 28 points per game and the Bengals won’t slow them down. A balanced attack should overwhelm the Bengals and dominate the second half.
The New York Giants enter Week 10 with a comfortable lead in the NFC East. With the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles facing off later in the day, the Giants have an opportunity to pad their lead in the NFC East a bit. I expect them to handle business and cover the three-point spread on the road.
Giants 31 – Bengals 17