The Giants come in to the game with the better record, but they cannot afford to take the 3-4-1 Bengals lightly. If there’s one thing the Giants should know by now, its that the rest of the NFL never does them a solid and knocks a division rival down a peg. No, if the Giants want to make their playoff push a legitimate one, they’ll need to keep taking care of their own business.
So on that note, here’s an attempt at predicting how things will go tonight.
Tyler Eifert Will Have A Big Night
This is a fairly simplistic prediction. Eifert started the year injured, and has been working his way back. Finally healthy, he shredded Washington’s defense to the tune of nine receptions for 102 yards and a touchdown in London. With that game under his belt and a bye week to rest up, Eifert should be back in the groove just in time to face the Giants.
While the Giants have actually been one of the better teams in the league when it comes to defending the tight end, there is too much history for them to ever feel comfortable facing one, especially one as talented as Eifert.
On top of that, the secondary will have its hands full dealing with A.J. Green, while the linebackers (and safeties) will also have to keep track of Giovanni Bernard and Jeremy Hill.
The Giants Will Sack Andy Dalton Twice
There are a couple factors coming together to make this prediction.
First, the Bengals give up the second most sacks per game in the league, with 25 sacks through their first eight game — just over three per game.
Secondly, Olivier Vernon finally did not appear on the Giants’ injury report this week, suggesting that his injured wrist is as healthy as its going to get this season. He had been playing exclusively on one side (left of the defense, right of the offense) to lessen the strain on his wrist. Hopefully Spags will be able to move he and Jason Pierre-Paul around more, putting the stress on the offense to account for increased possibilities.
The more a defense can do to confuse an offense and knock it off balance, the more likely they are to get to the quarterback. And as it happens, the Giants have had multiple sacks in each of their three wins.
This Game Won’t Be Easy
I want to say this up front: I respect the Bengals, but this has nothing to do with them as an opponent. It really doesn’t even have anything to do with the Giants’ as a team either.
This prediction is really based on an observation that the Giants just don’t do anything easily ... Except elevate our blood pressure. They’re absolute savants when it comes to stressing their fans.
But when it comes to things like football, the Giants don’t ever do anything the easy way. Their five wins this season? A combined 20 points, and on four of them the defense closed the game. So however tonight’s game goes, the Giants will make it interesting (or more likely: nerve wracking).