A little chutzpah from Ben McAdoo went a long way for the Giants on Monday night.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Giants head coach faced a 4th-and-goal from the three-yard line while down six points. He eschewed the three-point opportunity in favor of rolling the dice in hopes of a touchdown — which is exactly what he got when Eli Manning hit Sterling Shepard for what turned out to be the game-winning score.
After some strong play from his defense down the stretch, McAdoo and the Giants earned a hard-fought win, 21-20, over the Bengals on Monday night.
It was a crucial victory for Big Blue, who are angling for the playoffs despite being down two games to the Cowboys in the division. Sitting now at 6-3 with the Bears and Browns next up on the docket, the Giants look like they are in a good spot just past the mid-way point in their season.
Eli Manning was decent, completing 28 of 44 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns along with two interceptions. Odell Beckham Jr., per usual, was a factor, catching 10 passes for 97 yards and a score.
Defensively, Landon Collins made a big play again, nabbing an interception for the third consecutive game.
The Giants’ offense came out firing, as Manning led an efficient series in which he completed six straight passes to six different receivers. The result? An eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Jerell Adams just 3:55 into the game.
But the Bengals had eyes on a quick start too. The Cincinnati offense was jumpstarted when they set up on their second play of the game with an unbalanced, four-man offensive line that caught the Giants by surprise and left Jonathan Casillas in one-on-one coverage with Tyler Eifert. Eifert ran up the seam and Andy Dalton floated a ball to him that he ran for 71 yards before Casillas tracked him down. A few plays later, Dalton hit A.J. Green for a 13-yard touchdown to tie the game just over six minutes into the game.
But after the lightning-fast start, the contest slowed, as each team’s defense settled in. No one came close to scoring for more than a quarter, until Dre Kirkpatrick beat Roger Lewis Jr. to a back shoulder pass from Eli Manning and picked it off. As a result, the Bengals took over with 5:13 in the half threatening to score at the seven-yard line.
Landon Collins snags a key interception in the fourth quarter.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
The Giants minimized the damage, however, refusing to allow the Bengals to gain a single yard on the ensuing drive and forcing Cincinnati to settle for a short field goal to take the lead.
Late in the second quarter, Odell Beckham Jr. started to leave his mark on the game. At the end of an eight-play, 75-yard drive, Beckham ran a route that featured his patented “whirly-bird” move that left him wide open in the end zone, where Manning hit him easily to put Big Blue up 14-10 with 1:17 left in the half.
Bengals WR Alex Erickson broke the kickoff return to start the second half for what looked like would have been a touchdown, had Coty Sensabaugh not caught him at the 13-yard line. But that didn’t end up mattering much, because two plays later Jeremy Hill rushed for a nine-yard score to put the Bengals ahead 17-14.
Down 20-14 early in the fourth quarter, what had been a solid Giants offensive possession stalled out at the Bengals’ three-yard line. Instead of kicking a field goal cut the deficit to three, McAdoo rolled the dicing looking to take the lead. The move paid off, as Manning hit Sterling Shepard on a short pass pattern for a touchdown to put Big Blue ahead 21-20.
Odell Beckham Jr. dances after catching a touchdown pass.
(Al Bello/Getty Images)
Soon thereafter, playmaking safety Landon Collins grabbed an interception for the third game in a row. Dalton overthrew a pass intended for Tyler Kroft, and Collins nabbed it at Giants’ 38-yard line with 11:31 left in the game.
But Manning elected to give the ball right back to the Bengals. On the very next play, Manning chucked the ball deep on a pass for reserve receiver Tavarres King, but the ball hung in the air and was picked off by Cincinnati safety George Iloka at the Bengals’ 12-yard line.
A few drives later the Bengals were trying to get something going when Dalton was sacked on back-to-back plays (first by Damon Harrison and Jonathan Casillas and then by Olivier Vernon), forcing them to punt the ball back to the Giants with three minutes remaining.
But the Bengals never got the ball back. Rashad Jennings was able to run out the clock and secure the Giants’ win.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News