Giants seek fourth win in row against Bengals
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.