TDBH: 3-5 Bengals begin play-off push with domination of Super Bowl champ Giants

Posted Nov 11, 2017

This Day in Bengals History - November 11, 2012

Backs to the wall with a 3-5 record after last week’s loss to Denver jacks their losing streak to four games, head coach Marvin Lewis makes them aware of quotes from Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil that go along the lines of, “"The Bengals are hell of a team, but it seemed like they don’t believe in themselves."  The Bengals say they believe they can still make the playoffs after making it last year with the rookie wide receiver-QB duo of A.J. Green and Andy Dalton and today they make a huge statement at Paul Brown Stadium when they dominate the defending Super Bowl champion Giants in both trenches during a 31-13 rout the Bengals big people cut down to size Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning.

 The Bengals defensive line outplays the more ballyhooed  New York front with four sacks and seven hits of Manning against an offensive line that has allowed their QB to be sacked just eight times heading into PBS.

Meanwhile, Dalton spins a 127.3 passer rating on touchdown passes to four different receivers as the defense generating the sixth most sacks per pass in the NFL doesn’t get a sniff against a line that gave up five sacks last week to Denver. What is widely believed to be the best group of down pass rushers in the NFL can’t get to Dalton on 30 pass attempts. The Bengals offensive line stones the Tucks, Osis and JPPs on no sacks and gives Dalton enough time on three third downs to throw three red-zone touchdowns against the league's best defensive line that is the second best at PBS today. “Go over there and interview them now if you want to," says right end Michael Johnson, who bangs Manning's arm to produce a floater that is intercepted by nose tackle Pat Sims, just off PUP and playing his first game in a year. Johnson takes exception to the Giants being called the best D-line in football. “"I try not to compare this and that," Johnson says. “I know if we go out and play up to the best of our abilities, we're tough to beat, period." He doesn’t have to convince Giants head coach Tom Coughlin.  “He was under duress a lot today," Coughlin says of Manning. "I think he got — what, (they had) four sacks and another seven or eight hits on the quarterback today. The protection was not what you would want; it’s a combination. Again, there were times when perhaps the protection was good and we were holding the ball a little bit longer (than usual) due to people not being open or whatever."

The defense is immense and foreshadows how it will be the backbone of a 7-1 finish that puts them into the Wild Card round at 10-6.  Not only does the D-line flex its muscles with havoc wrought by Johnson, Sims, and the 2010 draft bookends Geno Atkins (inside) and Carlos Dunlap (outside), but also Leon Hall shows why he’s the NFL’s best cornerback nobody knows when he shuts down Pro Bowl slot receiver Victor Cruz on three catches for 26 yards. “"We know what we're capable of doing," says Atkins, who has no sacks but two hits and constant harassment of Manning. “We stopped the run. They had something like (16 rushing) yards at the half and then when we got up 14, 17 points. We were able to pin the ears back. We know we have the ability to beat anyone we face. We wanted to see what we could do just having the four of us get after the quarterback and we proved we could do it.”



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