Gi­ants seek fourth win in row against Ben­gals

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Tom Cana­van

Halfway through the sea­son, the Gi­ants are in the play­off hunt. They’ve won three straight and head into Mon­day’s night game against a Ben­gals team that is des­per­ate.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. >> De­fen­sive end Ja­son Pierre-Paul can’t re­mem­ber the last time the New York Gi­ants won four games in a row.

Fourth-year de­fen­sive tackle Johnathan Hank­ins and third-year re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham Jr. haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced the feel­ing of be­ing in the post­sea­son chase.

Vic­tor Cruz knows the play­off feel­ing, but it’s been a while.

Halfway through the sea­son, the Gi­ants (5-3) are in the play­off hunt. They’ve won three straight and head into Mon­day’s night game against Ben­gals team that is des­per­ate.

Their five-year streak of mak­ing the play­offs is in dan­ger.

While they beat Cleve­land and tied Wash­ing­ton in their last two games, the Ben­gals (3-4-1) needed Wash­ing­ton to miss a 34yard field goal late in over­time to avoid a loss in Lon­don on Oct. 30.

Ben­gals quar­ter­back Andy Dal­ton knows this game takes on more im­por­tance com­ing out of the bye week.

“It’s big,” Dal­ton said. “It’s the start of the sec­ond half of the sea­son. There’s a lot out there for us to go take. It’s the first op­por­tu­nity in the sec­ond half to go take it.

“It’s im­por­tant to get a fast start.”

The Gi­ants just want to keep things go­ing. They have not won four in a row since 2013 .

“That long?” Pierre-Paul said.

That was the year Hank­ins was drafted by the Gi­ants. Beck­ham was taken the fol­low­ing sea­son.

“This is the first time for me and I don’t want to think about it too much,” Hank­ins said. “We just have to con­tinue do­ing what we are do­ing, tak­ing one game at a time un­til we get to the point where we see who is in the play­offs and where we fall.”

This is new for Beck­ham, who has seen the Gi- ants post 6-10 records the past two sea­sons de­spite his con­tri­bu­tions.

“We have a great op­por­tu­nity ahead of us,” Beck­ham said. “A po­si­tion I haven’t been in since I’ve been here. It’s great to feel this way. It’s great to be 5-3 at the mo­ment. You can’t sit here and be com­pla­cent with it.”

Cruz, who missed most of the last two sea­sons, is ex­cited.

“It is start­ing to get into my belly a lit­tle bit now and it feels good, ob­vi­ously, as a team to get into that mode,” he said “We just have to re­mem­ber that it is still a long sea­son.”

Some things to note for the na­tion­ally tele­vised game:

Jackrab­bitt vs. A.J.

Gi­ants cor­ner­back Janoris Jenkin, ‘Jackrab­bit’ to his team­mates, has gone against the op­po­si­tion’s top re­ceivers most of this sea­son. That means he will likely travel with A.J. Green, who lead the NFL with 59 catches and is sec­ond with 896 yards re­ceiv­ing.

The two were paired last year when the Rams, Jenk­ins’ old team, faced the Ben­gals and Green. He had two TD catches.

New York, New Jersey

The Ben­gals are mak­ing a fa­mil­iar trip. They opened the sea­son with a 23-22 win over the Jets at MetLife Sta­dium. It’s only the sec­ond time in team history they’ve played two road games in the same sta­dium in the same sea­son.

They also made two trips to the Mead­ow­lands in 2008.

The win over the Jets ended a streak of nine straight losses to the Jets on the road and marked their first win at the Mead­ow­lands. They’re 0-3 at the Gi­ants.

“Yeah, that’s weird,” cor­ner­back Dre Kirk­patrick said. “I’m ex­pect­ing to go out there and see the green, but it’s go­ing to be blue, so it’s kind of flipflop­ping with your mind. But it will be cool.”


Gi­ants wide re­ceiver Odell Beck­ham scores touch­down against the Ea­gles.

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