- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Let’s take a look back at five key plays that doomed the Giants on Sunday.
On the fifth play of the game on a first-and-10 at the Bengals’ 44, Corey Webster let Green run by free likely thinking he had help behind him. Green coasted in with a 56-yard touchdown that started the rout. Green had three catches on the drive as the Bengals made it clear they were going to go to their playmaker.
Pacman strikes: After the Giants went three-and-out on their first drive, Steve Weatherford boomed a 61-yard punt out of bounds. But Justin Tryon was flagged for being out of bounds on the punt, forcing the Giants to have to punt again.
On the ensuing punt, Pacman Jones returned it down the left sideline for 68 yards, avoiding two tackles and putting a move on Weatherford to get the Bengals down to the Giants’ 11 before being run out of bounds. That set up Andy Dalton’s second touchdown to Andrew Hawkins to put the Bengals up 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
Bradshaw fumbles: The Giants were attempting to rally and get themselves back into the game when they drove down to the Bengals’ 27-yard-line in the third quarter.
Ahmad Bradshaw gained 13 yards on two carries on the Giants’ second drive of the game and busted another third run for 11 yards. But as he was attempting to churn out some extra yardage, Bradshaw was stripped by Jones at the Cincinnati 16-yard-line and the Bengals recovered.
“[Down] 17-6, ball is first-and-10 at the plus-27, runner gains 11 yards but gets stripped,” said Tom Coughlin, citing the fumble as the first play he discussed on Monday in his review of the game. “That play and the next four offensive plays are [two more] turnovers.”
Eli INT I: On the very next Giants’ possession on a first-and-10 at the Giants’ 18, the pocket begins to collapse around Eli Manning. With Geno Atkins clutching onto him, Manning attempts to get rid of the ball. But Michael Johnson hits his arm as he is throwing the ball and Pat Sims intercepts at the Giants’ 15 and returns it to the 12.
Three plays later, Dalton finds Jermaine Gresham for his third touchdown to put the Bengals up 24-6 with 6:37 left in the third.
No salsa: Manning threw another interception deep in Giants territory that set up another Bengals’ touchdown to make the score 31-6 in the third. The game is pretty much over but the final nail in the coffin comes on the first play of the fourth on a first-and-10 from the Bengals’ 38.
Manning throws his best pass of the game to Victor Cruz on what would have been a sure touchdown. But Cruz, who got behind the Bengals defense, takes his eyes off the ball as the defender reaches up to bat it down. The ball glances off Cruz’s fingers and the wide receiver uncharacteristically drops a touchdown, summing up the Giants’ stinker in Cincinnati.
2dMorty Ain and Stevland Wilson