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Setting the Scene: Cincinnati Bengals at New York Giants

Brandon Allen 112920

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Eastern

Television: Live coverage on the Bengals Preseason TV Network with broadcasters Mike Watts (play-by-play), Anthony Munoz (analyst) and Marisa Contipelli (sideline reporter). The network is led by flagship WKRC-TV (CBS Channel 12) in Cincinnati. Also on the network are WKEF-TV (ABC Ch. 22) in Dayton, WSYX-TV (ABC Ch. 6) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (FOX Ch. 8.2) in Lima, WDKY-TV (FOX Ch. 56) in Lexington, Ky. and WDRB-TV (FOX Ch. 41) in Louisville, Ky.

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals play their first 2022 game away from home this week when they travel to East Rutherford, N.J. to take on the New York Giants on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium. Cincinnati enters the contest 0-1 in preseason, after a 36-23 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Friday. Despite the outcome of the preseason opener, the Bengals had several positive takeaways, including a strong finish that saw them outscore the Cardinals 14-0 in the fourth quarter. "I thought the guys today played with really good energy in the fourth quarter and responded to adversity," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. "Now we'll evaluate the full scope of the tape and see what got us in the hole. I've got a pretty good idea of some of the penalties and the turnover, but (it was good to) see how guys responded for some of those bad times." While nearly all of Cincinnati's regular starters did not dress against Arizona, the most of the rest of the players on the roster played their first live game action. Among them was first-round pick S Dax Hill, who showcased his skillset in the first half with a near INT in the end zone, and later a pass defensed on a deep throw down the middle. "It felt good," said Hill after his debut. "I felt comfortable out there. The first series, all the jitters went away, so it felt like football."

A pair of Hill's fellow defensive rookies also shined against the Cardinals. DT Zach Carter, the team's third-round selection, had four tackles and batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage. DE Jeff Gunter, a seventh-rounder out of Coastal Carolina, had a batted pass of his own and also recorded a sack. "It was really a blessing to be out there," said Carter. "It's what I've been dreaming of since I was a child, so it was fun to get out there for the first time and finally go against somebody else." First-year QB Jake Browning got the bulk of the snaps in the preseason opener, after starter Brandon Allen left the game with a concussion in the first quarter. Browning completed 13 of 24 passes for 190 yards. The Bengals' final drive of the game was engineered by college free agent signee Drew Plitt, who went six-for-six for 76 yards and a TD to post a perfect passer rating of 158.3. Plitt, a native of Loveland, Ohio, grew up a Bengals fan and attended numerous games during his childhood.

Each of the three QBs have seen an increased number of repetitions in practice since the start of training camp due to third-year signal caller Joe Burrow recovering from an appendectomy on July 26. Burrow, who in 2021 set Bengals single-season records for passing yardage (4611), passing TDs (34) and passer rating (108.3), returned to practice on Aug. 14 and is on track to start the regular season opener on Sept. 11 vs. Pittsburgh. Perhaps the team's biggest highlight in the preseason opener was the performance of K Evan McPherson. The second-year veteran made each of his three FG attempts, from distances of 23, 58 and 56 yards. All three came in the second quarter, marking the first time in his young career — preseason, regular season or postseason — that McPherson made two 50-plus yarders in the same quarter. His 58-yard boot matched his career long (and a Bengals record), kicked on Dec. 19, 2021 at Denver.

A popular storyline throughout training camp has been the competitions along the offensive line. One notable battle comes at starting LG, where second year pro Jackson Carman and 2022 fourth-round pick Cordell Volson had a near equal share of snaps against Arizona. "We want those guys to get as many reps as possible," said Taylor. "They're competing for their job, and the best way to compete is in the game. [Jackson Carman] is still a young lineman. He's in his second year, and we just wanted to see him get a chance to go against a different defense, and we'll continue to assess where he's at." The Giants enter Sunday's matchup 1-0 in preseason, after opening with a 23-21 win at New England last Thursday.

The series: In regular season, the Bengals lead 6-5 in a series in which the home team always has been dominant. The Bengals lead the regular-season series 6-1 as the home team, and the Giants lead 4-0 as the home team. In preseason, however, the Giants have a 4-1 edge overall. The Bengals have played fewer regular-season games against the Giants (11) than against any other long-established NFL team. The only team with fewer than 11 meetings against Cincinnati is Carolina (six games), but the Panthers have been in operation only since 1995.

Bengals-Giants connections: Four current Bengals spent time with the Giants during their careers — CB Eli Apple (2016-18), DT B.J. Hill ('18- 20), DE Raymond Johnson III ('21) and S Michael J. Thomas ('18-19) ... Giants LB Darrian Beavers is from Cincinnati, was teammates with Bengals G Desmond Noel at Colerain High School, and played at the University of Cincinnati from 2019-21 ... Giants LB Austin Calitro signed with the Bengals in Nov. 2021 and played in five games for Cincinnati during the regular season ... Calitro and Bengals CB Tre Flowers also played together for the Seattle Seahawks in 2018 ... Giants DE Jalyn Holmes played at Ohio State from 2014-17, where he was teammates with Bengals CB Eli Apple ('14-15), S Vonn Bell ('14-15), QB Joe Burrow ('15-17), P Drue Chrisman ('16-17), LB Keandre Jones ('16-17), DE Sam Hubbard ('14-17) and OT Isaiah Prince ('15-17) ... Giants DB Andrew Adams played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers alongside Bengals G Alex Cappa (2018- 19) and DE Noah Spence ('18) ... Giants TE Jordan Akins was teammates with Bengals DT D.J. Reader on the Houston Texans from 2018-19 ... Giants RB (2017-19) Matt Breida and WR Richie James ('18-19) were teammates with Bengals WR Trent Taylor on the San Francisco 49ers ... Breida also played alongside Bengals C Ted Karras with the Miami Dolphins in 2020 ... Giants OL Jamil Douglas was teammates with Bengals S Michael J. Thomas on the Dolphins from 2015-16 ... Giants OL Max Garcia was teammates with Bengals C Lamont Gaillard on the Arizona Cardinals in 2020 ... Giants QB Tyrod Taylor and Bengals assistant special teams coach Colt Anderson were teammates on the Buffalo Bills from 2016-17 ... Giants DB Cor'Dale Flott played at LSU in 2019 alongside Bengals QB Joe Burrow, WR Ja'Marr Chase, TE Thaddeus Moss and DT Tyler Shelvin ... Giants T Andrew Thomas played at the University of Georgia alongside Bengals C Lamont Gaillard (2017-18) and C Trey Hill ('18-19) ... Bengals OT Jonah Williams played at Alabama alongside Giants WR Robert Foster (2016-17) and S Xavier McKinney ('17-18). Giants head coach Brian Daboll also served as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator in '17 ... Giants WR Kadarius Toney was teammates with Bengals DT Zach Carter and K Evan McPherson at the University of Florida from 2018-20 ... Bengals DE Joseph Ossai and Giants WR Collin Johnson were teammates at the University of Texas from 2018-19 ... Bengals DE Khalid Kareem and Giants S Julian Love were teammates at Notre Dame from 2016-18 ... Bengals HB Trayveon Williams and Giants TE Ricky Seals-Jones were teammates at Texas A&M in 2016 ... Bengals TE Hayden Hurst played for the Baltimore Ravens from 2018-19, when Giants tight ends coach Andy Bischoff served as an offensive assistant/tight ends coach ... Giants TE Jordan Akins played at Central Florida when Bengals wide receivers coach Troy Walters was the offensive coordinator (2016-17) ... Bengals linebackers coach James Bettcher spent two seasons as the Giants' defensive coordinator (2018-19) ... Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo was the Giants' defensive backs coach in 2018 ... Giants OL Jamil Douglas spent the 2015 season with the Miami Dolphins, when Bengals assistant linebackers coach Jordan Kovacs played for the team and head coach Zac Taylor, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, senior defensive assistant Mark Duffner and offensive assistant Ben Martin were on the coaching staff ... Giants OL Max Garcia spent the 2015 season with the Denver Broncos, when Bengals tight ends coach James Casey played for the team and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan was offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach ... Callahan also coached quarterbacks for the Detroit Lions in 2017, when Giants WR Kenny Golladay played for the team ... Giants DL Dexter Lawrence played at Clemson in 2016, when Bengals defensive line coach Marion Hobby was the co-defensive coordinator/defensive ends coach ... Bengals CB Allan George played at Vanderbilt in 2021, when Giants inside linebackers coach John Egorugwu served as linebackers coach ... Giants defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale is originally from the Dayton, Ohio area and served on the University of Cincinnati coaching staff from 1996-98 ... Giants offensive line coach Bobby Jones played at Miami (Ohio) and later served on the coaching staff from '99-04 ... Giants running backs coach DeAndre Smith was assistant head coach/running backs at Miami (Ohio) from 2005-07.