EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants not only defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 21-20, on Monday night. They managed to do it by running out the clock with their offense on the field, something they have not been able to do at other times this season.
The Giants, last in the league in rushing yards per game entering the game, got the ball at their own 41-yard line with 3:01 to play and protecting that one-point lead. They sealed the game with five consecutive runs by Rashad Jennings, including a 9-yard run on third-and-6 after Cincinnati used its final timeout with 2:50 to play, and a season-long 25-yard run two plays later that allowed the Giants to go into victory formation.
Offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse, who bounced between left guard and jumbo tight end after Brett Jones left the game with a calf injury, called the first-down run by Jennings “a huge moment for us.”
“Our guys up front were excited to get that run call on third down and make that happen and end the game with the ball in our hands,” said center Weston Richburg.
Jennings finished the game with 15 carries for a season-high 87 yards.
Head coach Ben McAdoo said being able to run out the clock was “a big boost for our locker room.”
Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes. Odell Beckham Jr. caught 10 passes for 97 yards. In the process he became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,500 receiving yards, doing so in his 36th career game. Lance Alworth held the previous record of 37 games.
Trailing 20-14 with 14:12 to play, the Giants got their game-winning score when McAdoo eschewed a field goal, choosing to go for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the Cincinnati 3-yard line. Manning found Sterling Shepard on a crossing route at the goal line to cap a seven-play, 47-yard drive and give the Giants a 21-20 lead with 14:05 to play.
“We knew it was going to take touchdowns to beat this team, it's a good football team and we felt like we needed to score touchdowns,” McAdoo said, explaining the decision.
The Giants led, 14-10 at the half as they got a pair of 10-yard touchdown passes, one to Jerell Adams and one to Beckham.
The Bengals scored 10 quick points at the start of the third quarter and held a 20-14 lead heading to the final period.
At 6-3, the Giants have now equaled their win total from each of the past two seasons.
Moments that mattered
Ring of Honor ceremony — The Giants inducted Tom Coughlin, Justin Tuck and Ernie Accorsi into the Ring of Honor at halftime.
Brett Jones’ opportunity didn’t last long — Jones, the second-year lineman starting his first game at left guard in place of the injured Justin Pugh, came out of the game with a calf injury after the Giants’ first series. (Read more)
Odell Beckham Jr. shatters another receiving record — On his seventh catch of the first half Beckham became the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,500 receiving yards, doing so in 37 games. The previous record was 37 games, held by Lance Alworth.
This was Beckham’s touchdown right before the half. Ridiculous.
Bengals strike quickly to start second half — Alex Erickson returned the second half kickoff 84 yards to the Giants’ 13-yard line. Two plays later, Jeremy Hill ran untouched for a 9-yard score and a lightning quick 17-14 Cincinnati lead. After a three-and-out by the Giants, Cincinnati added a 38-yard Mike Nugent field goal. Thus, in 6:04 they turned a 14-10 deficit into a 20-14 lead.
Fourth-down decision — Trailing 20-14 with 14:12 left in the fourth quarter the Giants faced fourth-and-goal at the Cincinnati 3-yard line. They passed on the field goal and made that look brilliant, getting the touchdown on a pass from Manning to Sterling Shepard.
Landon Collins does it again — After the Giants took the lead, the second-year safety snuffed out a Cincinnati drive with an interception at the Giants’ 38-yard line. He returned the ball to the Bengals’ 41-yard line with 11:22 left in the game. That makes three straight games with an interception for Collins.
WATCH: Landon Collins comes up with another interception - his fourth this season! https://t.co/12R6k24L2Y— New York Giants (@Giants) November 15, 2016
Giants run out the clock
As we talked about above, the Giants ran out the clock after taking possession with 3:01 left and a one-point lead. That was a huge step forward for an offense that had been unable to close games out in previous opportunities.
— Tom Coughlin on winning two Super Bowls with the Giants
The Giants host the 2-7 Chicago Bears at 1 p.m. ET. It will be the finale of a three-game home stand for the Giants.