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Sunday, November 11, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Bengals 31, Giants 13

By Ohm Youngmisuk



CINCINNATI –- The New York Giants are officially on their bye week now, but their offense went into bye week mode a long time ago. The champs were smashed by the Bengals 31-13.

What it means: The Giants are 6-4, but they have some serious issues to correct. The offense has vanished and couldn't do much of anything against a team that had lost four straight games.

Eli Manning is in a full-blown slump, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble on Sunday. Any time Manning tries to go deep, the quarterback and his receiver just seem to be on the wrong page. The running game has no bite. The offensive line, which had been so good for much of the season, has protection breakdowns. Other times, Manning holds on to the ball too long. And third downs have become a major issue.

The defense continues to surrender big plays, and the special teams were spotty again as the Giants dropped to 0-6 all time at Cincinnati.

The Giants' coaching staff has a lot of work to do during the bye week. Perhaps the break will be good for the players to get away from this stinking mess.

Struggles continue: The Giants' offense is deteriorating.

Manning completed 15 of 20 passes in the first half but for only 107 yards. Manning, who was sacked twice in the first half, tried to jump-start the offense with short passes to Hakeem Nicks, who had seven receptions for 63 yards by halftime –- the most catches he has had since Week 2, when he had 10 receptions for 199 yards and a touchdown against Tampa Bay.

But it got worse in the third quarter. The Giants had a three-and-out, Ahmad Bradshaw then fumbled, and on the ensuing possession, Manning tried to make something happen with Geno Atkins hanging on him. But his pass was deflected by Michael Johnson, and Pat Sims picked off the pass at the Giants' 12 to set up another Bengals touchdown. That put the Bengals up 24-6 midway through the third.

Manning threw another interception while in Atkins' clutches, this time to Nate Clements, who returned it to the Giants' 16 to set up Andy Dalton's fourth touchdown pass. That pushed the Giants' deficit to 31-6.

Adding to the misery was the fact that the Giants lost Domenik Hixon to an ankle injury, and Victor Cruz dropped a sure touchdown in the fourth.

Go Green: The offense wasn't the only culprit. A.J. Green said last week that he saw holes in the Giants' defense, and he wasn't kidding.

On the fifth play of the game, Green took advantage of a Giants breakdown and waltzed into the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown after Corey Webster stopped short on coverage in what appeared to be a mix-up.

It was the ninth receiving touchdown of 26 yards or longer that the Giants have allowed this season.

The Bengals added another 11-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Andrew Hawkins to take a 14-0 lead just 4:07 into the game.

Brown starts: The Giants started Andre Brown on the first play of the first and second half. Bradshaw still received the majority of the carries in the first three quarters, but he did lose a fumble.

What's next: The Giants take their much-needed bye week. They might get some reinforcements with Kenny Phillips and Jacquian Williams still on the mend.