Eli Manning threw his third touchdown pass of the game on a fourth-down gamble by coach Ben McAdoo, and the New York Giants beat the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 Monday night for their first four-game winning streak since 2013.
Manning threw scoring passes of 10 yards apiece to rookie Jerell Adams and Odell Beckham Jr. in the first half and a game-winning 3-yarder to rookie Sterling Shepard on a daring call with New York (6-3) down 20-14 early in the fourth quarter.
The Giants defense took over from there, closing it out on Landon Collins' fourth interception in the past three games and two stops, the last on consecutive sacks of Andy Dalton with less than five minutes to play.
Dalton threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green and Jeremy Hill scored on a 9-yard run that was set up by an 84-yard kickoff return by Alex Erickson to start the second half. Mike Nugent kicked two field goals for Cincinnati (3-5-1), the second giving the Bengals a 20-14 lead early in the third quarter.
The Giants had a 14-10 halftime lead. Manning (28 of 44 for 240 yards with two interceptions) capped an 80-yard opening drive with his pass to Adams. He hit Beckham (10 catches for 97 yards) on New York's final drive of the half.
A 71-yard pass from Dalton (16 of 29 for 204 yards) to tight end Tyler Eifert set up Green's touchdown, and an interception by Dre Kirkpatrick led to Nugent's first field goal, which was disappointing since Cincinnati had first-and-goal at the Giants 7 after the return. >> Read more
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press
After a wild Sunday that featured wins by all three of their division rivals, the Giants needed to win to keep pace. They came out hot against the Bengals tonight, taking an early lead in what would become a back-and-forth affair ending with their first four-game win streak since 2013.
They did what they have done all season long: making just enough plays to win. The Giants have six wins by a total of 21 points. With just enough offense and timely defense that steps up to make plays, they are winning the games they have lost the past few years.
The offense had two solid drives in the first half. They won the toss and drove the ball 80 yards in eight plays, culminating in a 10-yard TD pass from Manning to Adams for an early 7-0 lead. At the end of the half, Beckham used a deft spin move past DB Adam Jones to get free in the end zone for a 10-yard score.
Their third TD came on a fourth down play from the 3-yard line. McAdoo rolled the dice and Manning hit Shepard on a slant on the goal line for what would be the deciding score.
Running back Rashad Jennings finished with 87 yards on the ground and had several big runs on the final drive to seal the game.
The Giants' defense played well again in clutch situations again. They bent but did not break, staving off the Bengals several times down deep, forcing field goals instead of touchdowns. Cincinnati used some unusual formations to confuse the Giants, one resulting in a 71-yard gain by Eifert to set up a Green touchdown.
Otherwise, the defense stood tall enough again to preserve another narrow lead. It held the Bengals to 2-for-11 on third downs. Collins had another interception, his fourth in three games. Defensive end Olivier Vernon had a statement game with 10 total tackles (two for a loss) and a sack.
The pass-rush heated up late in the game, sacking Dalton on consecutive plays to force a punt with 3:08 remaining. With three sacks, the Giants recorded at least two sacks for the fourth straight game.