Cincinnati (3-4-1) at NY Giants (5-3)
When: Monday, November 14th 2016
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ESPN
The Cincinnati Bengals make their second trip to MetLife Stadium this season when they take on the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Cincinnati won their opener against the Jets here 23-22, but then lost four of their next five games in a brutal stretch that included Pittsburgh, Denver, Dallas, and New England. The Bengals are coming off their bye and a 27-27 tie with Washington in London two weeks ago. Quarterback Andy Dalton has a streak of four straight games with a 100+ passer rating snapped in London, but he has thrown for 2,349 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions this season. Wide receiver A.J. Green is second in the NFL with 896 yards, including three games with at least 169 yards. The offense got the much needed return of tight end Tyler Eifert against the Redskins. Eifert had 13 touchdowns last season and got off to a great start with nine catches for 102 yards and a score in London. Running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard have both rushed for a touchdown in each of the last two games. Cincinnati’s defense has been vulnerable through the air, allowing an average of 262.4 yards while ranking 25th in overall defense (378.5).
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The New York Giants have won a surprising four games in a row – their longest streak since 2013 – after a 28-23 win at home against the Philadelphia Eagles last week. Quarterback Eli Manning is coming off a four-touchdown performance against Philadelphia, the third time he has thrown at least three TDs in a game this season, but he also was picked off twice for the third time. Wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. is putting his early season woes away with a pair of scoring receptions against the Eagles to give him five in the past four games. The biggest problem for the Giants has been a putrid running game led by Rashad Jennings that ranks last in the league with an average of 68.3 yards per game. Rookie Paul Perkins could see more time this week in hopes of jump-starting the rush attack. New York’s defense ranks 25th against the pass (277.4), but 9th against the run (93.9). The Giants won’t play another division game until December 11th against the Cowboys.
I like Cincinnati in this game coming off a bye week and the return of Eifert really gives this offense a boost. New York must find a way to run the ball or Manning is going to keep getting picked off with defenses knowing he has to throw. I expect this to be a tight contest, but I’ll take the Bengals in this one as I think they have the better overall team.
Pick: Bengals -1