All of the crash-and-burn signs are there for the New York Giants on Monday night.
- They have won three straight games, and have not had a four-game winning streak since 2013.
- The 3-4-1 Cincinnati Bengals, their opponent on Monday Night Football, have probably under-performed through their first eight games.
- The Giants have lost four of their last five Monday Night Football games.
- The Giants are inducting Tom Coughlin, Ernie Accorsi and Justin Tuck into their Ring of Honor Monday night. They wouldn’t put up a stinker on such a special night, would they?
- The betting line has shifted. The Giants opened as 2-point favorites, and are now actually 1-point underdogs despite being at home.
So, when we look at the Monday night matchup between the Giants and Bengals and try to forecast who will win are there reasons to feel good about the Giants’ chances to win that fourth straight game?
Well, betting line swing or not, FiveThirtyEight gives the Giants a 57 percent chance of winning Monday.
Can the Giants do that? Sure they can, if they are successful in a few areas.
- If they manage to control Cincinnati defensive linemen Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap.
- If they can manage to take advantage of the opportunities they appear to have on the outside with Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard and whoever else is at wide receiver.
- If they can manage to contain Bengals’ wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Tyler Eifert.
- If they can run the ball, at least a little bit.
- If the defense, seemingly getting better and better, continues to ascend.
Will the Giants do those? Or, at least do enough of them to come away with a victory? Drew Brill, ESPN Radio Giants reporter, told us on the most recent Big Blue Chat podcast there there is an optimistic air in the Giants’ locker room.
“The feeling you get when I’m in the locker room is that these guys have all bought in,” Brill said. “They know about the past. They know about not making the playoffs ... you get the feeling in that locker room that they feel they can make something happen.”
If the Giants can beat the Bengals on Monday night that feeling will continue to grow. Recent history tells us to be wary of getting overly optimistic about the Giants, but I’m buying in. At least for this week.
Final score: Giants 35, Bengals 24