By Eric from BigBlueInteractive.com
Approach to the Game – Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants, September 21, 2008: While many fans are correctly saying “one game at a time,” we’re all thinking the same thing – the Giants have a good chance to start the season at 6-0 before the level of competition dramatically increases.
Most of us – at least the smart ones – know that the Bengals are certainly capable of beating the Giants. Just like the Rams were capable of beating the Giants. But this is a team the Giants should defeat.
The keys are play hard, play smart, execute, and don’t lose the turnover battle.
For every team in the league, the first couple of games are always a mystery. Fans, media, and the teams themselves are often surprised or shocked at the results. Some good teams start of poorly. We also find out that some “good teams” are not really that good after all.
The good news for the Giants is that they have that uncertain time period past them. They have not been knocked off their feet and ought to be hitting their stride now, confident that they – once again – have the look of a possible Champion. Now is the time to pile up some wins and keep the heat on the rest of the division rivals.
Giants on Offense: I’m not going to give you a positional rundown of the opponent and identify key match-ups this week. No, I’m not being lazy. The Bengals’ defense stinks. It has stunk for years and stinks once again. At the heart of their defensive woes is that Cincinnati can’t stop the run. And the Bengals are not not a physical team. Enter Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Ward, and Mr. Bradshaw.
How bad is the front seven for the Bengals? Ex-Giant Dhani Jones, who is starting at middle linebacker, is the team’s defensive captain. Ouch.
The Bengals have decent corners in Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph, but the latter is a bit gimpy with an ankle injury. S Dexter Jackson (thumb) is out; S Chinedum Ndukwe has been bothered by a knee injury.
Don’t get cute. Simply maul the Bengals with the ground game. Rip their freaking hearts out.
Giants on Defense: Yes, the Bengals have some very good skill players in Carson Palmer, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Chad Johnson (sorry I’m not playing that Ocho crap). And at any point of a game, Palmer can connect with one of these two receivers for a huge play.
But the Bengals’ offensive line stinks. The Bengals can’t block for the run or the pass – not a good combination against any opponent, let alone a Giants’ defense that does well stopping the run and rushing the passer.
Just make sure you play physical and aggressive up front so HB Chris Perry doesn’t get untracked. Then pin your ears back against Palmer, a guy who most likely desperately wants off this team.
Houshmandzadeh, Johnson? Excellent players. But so are Aaron Ross and Corey Webster. No fear baby.
Giants on Special Teams: Glenn Holt has averaged 30 yards per return for the Bengals on kickoff returns so the Giants will have to be vigilant here. The Giants need to do a better job of blocking on their own kickoff returns for Ahmad Bradshaw.