Bengals thump Giants to halt four-game skid
Cincinnati, OH – Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes to four different receivers, as the Cincinnati Bengals hammered the New York Giants, 31-13, at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals (4-5) had their way with the reigning Super Bowl champions right from the opening possession, which saw Dalton fire a 56-yard pass to A.J. Green for a quick touchdown.
Dalton played mistake-free for the first time this season, hitting 21-of-30 passes for 199 yards to help Cincinnati snap a four-game skid.
"It was a big win for us. We knew it was going to take our best effort to win and that's what happened," Dalton said.
Eli Manning threw two interceptions and lost a fumble for the NFC East-leading Giants (6-4), who head into their bye week on a two-game losing streak.
Manning finished with just 215 yards on 29-of-46 attempts and did not throw a touchdown pass for a third straight game -- his longest drought since his 2004 rookie season.
"I have to start playing better," Manning said. "We can fix it."
Cincinnati was in front 17-6 at halftime and came away with three turnovers in the third quarter to pad its lead.
With the Giants knocking on the door on their second possession, Adam Jones stripped Ahmad Bradshaw near the sideline and Carlos Dunlap jumped on the ball at the Bengals' 14-yard line.
Geno Atkins pressured Manning into interceptions the next two times New York touched the ball. First, the defensive tackle had the quarterback in his grasp, and Michael Johnson got a hand on Manning's ill-advised pass. Pat Sims, playing his first game of the season, came away with the diving pick at the Giants' 12, and Jermaine Gresham made a leaping catch in the end zone three plays later for a 10-yard score with 6:37 left in the third.
Three snaps later, Nate Clements stepped in front of another rushed Manning pass and returned it 21 yards to the New York 16. This time Dalton turned the turnover into a 10-yard TD pass to Mohamed Sanu on a play nearly identical to Gresham's grab.
Manning lost a fumble early in the fourth quarter, and the Giants' Andre Brown capped the scoring with a late 2-yard TD run.
"I don't have anything I can say I was pleased with," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said. "We need to play better."
Green was quoted earlier in the week saying there were "a lot of holes" in the Giants' defense. The second-year star found one on the fifth snap of the game as he got behind the secondary, hauled in Dalton's bomb and walked in for a 56-yard touchdown.
Jones' punt return set up Cincinnati's second TD just 4:07 into the game. The 68-yard pickup came after a Giants penalty negated Steve Weatherford's would- be 61-yard punt. After two incompletions, Dalton hit Andrew Hawkins on a quick out, and the receiver did the rest en route to an 11-yard TD.
Brandon Tate returned the next Giants punt and coughed it up at the Cincinnati 27-yard line, and the turnover resulted in Lawrence Tynes kicking a 23-yard field goal with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
The Bengals twice kept their offense on the field on fourth down in the second quarter. They were stopped the first time, but converted the next via Sanu's 15-yard catch on 4th-and-2 at the Giants' 37-yard line.
The extended drive ended with Mike Nugent's 28-yard field goal, and Tynes added a 31-yarder of his own just before halftime.
Green, who led the Bengals with seven catches for 85 yards, has caught a TD pass in eight straight games ... Sims was activated from the physically unable to perform list this week. He missed the first eight games due to a hamstring injury ... Hakeem Nicks paced New York with nine catches for 75 yards ... Manning fell to 13-19 as a starter during November ... New York converted 5- of-14 third-down tries.