It looked like the Giants were going to grab a little momentum on their second possession of the second half when Ahmad Bradshaw ripped off a long run deep into Bengals territory, but the play would not end well for the Giants.
Adam Jones yanked the ball out of Bradshaw’s hands, Carlos Dunlap recovered and the Giants had the first of three straight turnovers that handed the game to the Bengals on a silver platter. Eli Manning would throw interceptions under pressure on each of the next two Giants drives, the Bengals cashed both in with Andy Dalton touchdown passes and the 31-13 rout was officially on.
Manning would add a third turnover in the fourth quarter when he was stripped of the ball on a Wallace Gilberry sack. He had time to do something else with the ball on that play, just as he did while throwing interceptions on balls that should have been thrown away. Those turnovers were the most glaring errors of the day for a Giants offense that turned in yet another poor performance after a week of questions about what was wrong with the team. It was more of the same this week as the running game did nothing when the score was close, receivers dropped passes and the offensive line didn’t protect Manning well. Throw in Manning’s poor decisions and it is not hard to understand the final score.
The Bengals defense shouldn’t be deprived of credit, though. Geno Atkins dominated the line of scrimmage, helping his teammates pick up four sacks of Manning and, as mentioned, setting up three of the four turnovers that made life easier for the Bengals. Dalton finished with four touchdowns, which pretty much accounted for every throw he had to make on a day when the defense (and special teams, thanks to a 64-yard punt return by Jones) made life very easy for the offense. The early touchdown throw to A.J. Green was important, though, as it forced the Giants offense to play from behind on a day when they needed no extra pressure.
Cincinnati has the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers on the schedule in the next three weeks, so they could use this win as a springboard back into the playoff picture after their 3-5 start. The Giants have a bye week that they’ll use to try to stop the New York papers from being filled with stories about another second half nose dive for the defending Super Bowl champions.