Don’t let the Giants 129 rushing yards deceive you. Through three quarters, the Bengals’ front-7 dominated the Giants offensive line and prevented Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown from breaking off the big runs that opponents have routinely gotten against the Bengals’ defense.
Entering the 4th-quarter, the Giants had a mere 54 yards on the ground, and with the Bengals holding a 31-6 lead, the Giants opted to keep running the ball, gaining 75 yards on 7 carries in the 4th. While it eventually led to their lone touchdown of the day, it was against a Bengals defense that had gone to a prevent look and was playing to prevent the deep passes. It’s as though the Giants conceded to defeat, and just wanted to end the game as quickly as possible.
The real story of the day came when Eli Manning dropped back to pass 46 times against a Bengals defensive line that was one of the NFL’s best, accounting for 27 QB-takedown on the year, and they notched four more against a New York offensive line that had allowed a league-low 9 sacks. The yalso got 8 QB-hits on Manning, and both of his interceptions were thrown with immense pressure in his face. The biggest culprit for this was defensive end Carlos Dunlap.
Dunlap entered today’s game with just one sack and 14 tackles. Against New York, he accounted for 1.5 sacks, 5 tackles, and a critical fumble recovery early in the third-quarter with the Giants in the redzone(see above photo). After entering the 2012 season with hopes of a breakout season and dreams of playing in Honolulu in the Pro Bowl, Dunlap had been the biggest disappointment of the year for the Bengals, but had a minor redemption game on Sunday, and hopefully can build off that great performance and parlay it into a dominant second-half of the 2012 season.