Going into today’s game versus the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Bengals had suffered 10 consecutive losses to a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. Their last win against one was when they beat Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger in Week 10 in 2009 after they completed a season sweep of Pittsburgh en route to winning their last AFC North crown. The Bengals had a chance to end that streak today against two-time and reigning Super Bowl champion Eli Manning, and did just that, holding the younger Manning to just 29/46 passing for 215 yards and NO touchdowns while picking him off twice.
Despite losing two straight games, the Giants will almost certainly be in the playoffs this year in some fashion, meaning that no matter what happens the rest of the 2012 NFL season, the Bengals will end the year with at least one win over a playoff team, something they couldn’t do last year when they did make the playoffs. While it sounds minor, it is one critical step that had to be taken before the Bengals could begin to ascend into the upper echelon of the NFL.