The Bengals defensive line outplayed the NFL's best front four Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium and produced a 31-13 victory over the Super Bowl champion Giants that snapped Cincinnati's four-game losing streak and sent the Bengals to Kansas City next week at 4-5.
The Bengals, before a crowd of 56,614, fittingly put on the exclamation point with 10:45 left in the game when right end
New York didn't score its first touchdown until running back Andre Brown scored on a two-yard run with 2:46 left in the game.
The Bengals stunned the champs with three turnovers in the third quarter (a third of Cincinnati's total of nine coming into the game) that produced 14 points as quarterback
It was a huge play. It looked like the Giants were going to cut the lead to 17-13 early in the third quarter, but instead it was their last shot. The Bengals couldn't take advantage of that series but they did on the next one when defensive tackle
Three of Dalton's TDs came on third down in the red zone and so did this one on third-and-eight when Dalton saw tight end
Then Atkins and Dunlap converged on Manning three snaps later and he hurried a pass into the arms of cornerback
It was a coming out of sorts for Sanu with a career-high four catches for 47 yards that included third-down and fourth-down conversions in the first half.
Manning didn't get his first third-down conversion until 2:46 left in the half, his favorite target, Victor Cruz, didn't make a catch until 2:30 left in the half (he finished with just 26 yards on three catches) and he needed to convert a fourth-and-six to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to get Lawrence Tynes's 31-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half to make it 17-6.
And the Bengals made sure they got only that when Dunlap sacked Manning.
Manning finished the half 15-of-20 for 107 yards with no touchdowns and no picks, but Dalton separated himself with two touchdown passes for a passer rating of 131.5 on 15-of-20 passing for 161 yards.
Green, who had six catches for 86 yards in the first half before finishing with 85 yards on seven catches, set up his own TD with Dalton starting the game on a quick seven-yard throw to him working on cornerback Corey Webster giving Green a big cushion on the outside. On second down running back
The Giants came into the game with the NFL's second-fewest penalties but they made a huge one after their first series, when Adam Jones forced a punt knocking away a third-down crossing route.
Jones went back to receive the punt, but didn't pick up a roller that stopped at his 15. But Giants cornerback Justin Tryon illegally went out of bounds and Jones made the Giants pay on the re-kick. Jones caught it down the middle and had time to size it up. He went right, made running back Andre Brown miss, paused before cutting back, and stepped out of linebacker Michael Boley's tackle and kept going to the left edge until punter Steve Weatherford chased him out of bounds at the Giants 11 for a 68-yard return to go on top of his 81-yard touchdown return earlier in the season.
Dalton kept pumping to Green with two incompletions into the end zone and then got an 11-yard touchdown when slot receiver
The defense forced another punt when ends
The Bengals defense rallied again to force Tynes's 23-yard field goal when on third-and-four from the Bengals 6 WILL backer
With No. 1 pick
The Bengals then strung together another long drive with
Sanu converted a third-and-eight when he made a leaping fingertip grab against Amukamara for 12 yards. And then on fourth-and-two from the Giants 37, the line gave Dalton great time and at the last instant he bought another second stepping to his left and found Sanu across the middle for 15 more.
It looked like Dalton bought time for another third-down touchdown throw to Hawkins. He scrambled to the right on third-and-nine from the Giants 10 and threw it on the run when he saw Hawkins open near the right corner. He caught it, but one of his feet was on the line and the Bengals had to take
It was the second time Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis went for it on fourth down in the half. On fourth-and-three from the Giants 31 (after New York blew up a third-down screen to Hawkins), Dalton's pass to Gresham was broken up by Amukamara.
Dalton dished it out to seven receivers in the half, but Sanu and Green were the only two with more than 27 yards. The Bengals held Bradshaw to 14 yards on four carries.
PREGAME NOTES: With
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis also opted to dress defensive tackle Pat Sims for the first time since Nov. 27, 2011, when he injured his ankle. To make room for Sims, a 327-pound run specialist, the Bengals deactivated both rookie defensive tackles, second-rounder
Thompson has played in just three games and been inactive for the last five, but Still has played in every game with significant snaps backing up starting tackles
Both centers have been hampered by hamstring injuries but were active Sunday with rookie
The Bengals continued to shuffle their No. 2 receiver with
Last week Lewis extolled the virtues of Crocker's ability to run the defense while also helping his teammates see what is happing on offense. It's his sixth straight game and second straight start since coming off the couch for the Sept. 30 game in Jacksoville, the last Bengals win.
Lewis chose to introduce his offense as the Bengals took the field in their black jerseys and white pants. His game captains were quarterback Andy Dalton, middle linebacker