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Giants Handled By Bengals In Cincy

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CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 11: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants drops the ball while defended by Nate Clements #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI, OH – NOVEMBER 11: Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants drops the ball while defended by Nate Clements #22 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the game at Paul Brown Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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By JOE KAY
AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP) _ A.J. Green was partly correct. The defending
Super Bowl champions do have a lot of holes on the defense.
And everywhere else, it turns out.
Andy Dalton threw a career-high four touchdown passes _ each to
a different receiver _ and the Cincinnati Bengals ended their
four-game losing streak by beating the reeling New York Giants
31-13 on Sunday.
The Bengals (4-5) sustained their season by taking advantage of
a championship team that appears to have hit bottom. Eli Manning
threw a pair of interceptions that led to third-quarter touchdowns,
and New York (6-4) had four turnovers in the second half overall.
“That’s what won the game for us, getting the ball with great
field position and scoring when we got down there,” said Dalton,
who was 21 of 30 for 199 yards without a sack or interception.
The talk heading into the game was generated by Green, who
suggested to a New York radio station that the Giants “have a lot
of holes” on their defense.
Couldn’t argue that point after the Bengals rolled up 31 points
in only three quarters.
“I just feel like this is a good stepping block for us,” said
Green, who had the first of the four TDs. “I put a lot of pressure
on myself.”
Now, the Giants are starting to feel a little pressure
themselves.
They head into their off week with back-to-back losses and a lot
of issues, especially on offense. Manning had another subpar game,
failing to live up his family legacy of beating the Bengals. Older
brother Peyton improved to 8-0 against Cincinnati on the same field
a week earlier, leading Denver to a 31-23 win.
This one was surprisingly lopsided as the Giants hurt themselves
with bad passes, broken coverages, a dropped touchdown pass and
penalties in front of a less-than-capacity crowd of 56,614.
“No, I’m not worried,” Manning said. “Over the years, we’ve
gone through stretches where we haven’t played our best football
and we’ve been able to bounce out of that, and that’s what’s going
on right now.”
Manning was sacked a season-high four times by a defense that
hardly touched his brother. He also threw two interceptions under
pressure that led to Bengals TDs and a 31-6 lead in the third
quarter. Manning finished 29 of 46 for 215 yards, falling to 1-2
career against Cincinnati.
Manning threw for only 125 yards, his fewest in four years,
during a sloppy 24-20 loss to the Steelers last Sunday that
finished a week of turmoil from Superstorm Sandy. The Giants badly
wanted to get back in form before their bye week.
Instead, they were worse.
The Giants gave up a 68-yard punt return, Victor Cruz dropped a
pass at the goal line, and New York’s four turnovers in a horrific
second half helped the Bengals pull away.
“Just a little subpar from what we’re used to,” said Cruz, who
had three catches for only 26 yards. “I don’t know how to explain
it. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Everything went wrong, right from the start.
Cincinnati’s first big play was made by their Pro Bowl receiver,
who got a little rise out of the Giants with his comment about the
holes in their defense. Five plays into the game, he found a huge
one. Cornerback Corey Webster let him go down the sideline,
expecting help in coverage that never came. Green was wide open for
a 56-yard touchdown catch.
“It’s tough, painful and an embarrassment,” Webster said.
The Giants have given up 39 passes of 20 yards or more, 10 for
touchdowns. Green has a touchdown catch in eight straight games,
tying T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the second-longest streak in club
history.
Green was diplomatic, saying his pregame comments were
misconstrued as a criticism.
“Their defense is great,” said Green, who had seven catches
for a game-high 85 yards. “We were able to break some big plays.”
There were openings for all of Dalton’s receivers. Andrew
Hawkins made a one-handed catch for an 11-yard touchdown that came
off another Giants mistake. Steve Weatherford’s punt went out of
bounds at the Cincinnati 14-yard line, but a penalty forced a
rekick. Adam “Pacman” Jones slipped through two defenders for a
68-yard return that set up the score.
Jones started Cincinnati’s big third quarter by stripping Ahmad
Bradshaw of the ball at the Cincinnati 14-yard line, preventing New
York from getting back into the game.
On New York’s next possession, Manning’s deflected pass was
intercepted by tackle Pat Sims at the 12-yard line. Dalton threw a
10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham, who outjumped
Antrel Rolle in the end zone. Rolle was upset by Green’s “lot of
holes” comment, saying he would let his pads do the talking on the
field.
Less than 2 minutes later, Manning forced a throw that was
picked off by Nate Clements. Dalton’s 10-yard touchdown to Mohamed
Sanu made it 31-6.
NOTES: The home team has won every game in the series, which the
Bengals lead 6-3. … Giants WR Domenik Hixon left in the first
quarter with an ankle injury and didn’t return. … The Giants have
forced turnovers in 39 of their last 42 games. They have 27
takeaways this season. … It was the first time this season that
Dalton didn’t throw an interception. … There were nearly 9,000
unused seats at Paul Brown.
___
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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