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Giant beatdown reveals Bengals’ potential

nate smith


My, the Bengals played well Sunday.

Mainstream sports media will largely frame Cincinnati’s 31-13 beatdown of the New York Giants as the annual Inexplicable Giants Loss that Leaves the Team Reeling, Tom Coughlin on the Hot Seat and the Season in Peril game, but what this Bengals fan saw Sunday said more about the home team — a squad that played with a chip on its shoulder and something to prove.

New York entered the jungle Sunday, and ran squarely into a hornet’s nest.

No, the Giants didn’t play especially well. That had more to do with the fact that a defensive line that didn’t look as though it could penetrate a damp paper towel seven days ago, sacked Eli Manning four times and forced him into a pair of interceptions.

A.J. Green wasted little time adding substance to his previous claim the Giants defense has “a lot of holes” in it. On just the fifth play from scrimmage, Green caught a 56-yard pass unabated down the right sideline for a touchdown. Green now has caught a TD pass in eight consecutive games, matching T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the third longest streak in the last 10 seasons.

The offensive line, which surrendered five sacks and committed two costly holding penalties to effectively stall the Bengals’ failed final drive last week against Denver, gave up zero sacks on Sunday.

And what did quarterback Andy Dalton do with all that extra time to throw? He completed more than 65 percent of his passes and threw TD passes to four different receivers.

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