Game Predictions & Player Projections - CIN vs. NYG

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: CIN 24, NYG 27(Line: NYG by 2.5, O/U = 47)

UPDATE: Victor Cruz has not practiced this week but has not yet been ruled out. This is a Monday game so there is still a Saturday practice. I am going to remove him from the projections but may add him back in if he surprises with a practice on Saturday. He's been a non-factor anyway.

This is the Monday night game. The 3-4-1 Bengals come off their bye with a 1-3 road record thanks to a one point win over the Jets in the season opener. The 5-3 Giants are 3-1 at home and just beat the visiting Eagles to climb up into playoff contention. The Giants have plenty of problems but they've been very good at home. The Bengals defense has declined this year and the offense mostly gone stale with exception to A.J. Green when facing a weak secondary. This is a coin flip but the Bengals have not been playing as well lately and are on the road.

This will be billed as A.J. Green vs. Odell Beckham and in many ways - that is exactly right.

Cincinnati Bengals

1 @NYJ 23-22 10 @NYG ---
2 @PIT 16-24 11 BUF ---
3 DEN 17-29 12 @BAL ---
4 MIA 22-7 13 PHI ---
5 @DAL 14-28 14 @CLE ---
6 @NE 17-35 15 PIT ---
7 CLE 31-17 16 @HOU ---
8 WAS 27-27 17 BAL ---
9 BYE ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
CIN @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton 10 300,2
RB Giovani Bernard 50 5-30
RB Jeremy Hill 40,1
WR Tyler Boyd 4-50
WR A.J. Green 6-100,1
WR Brandon LaFell 4-40
TE Tyler Eifert 7-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Bengals have Tyler Eifert back and that is significant even if they tied with the visiting Redskins in their last game. What needs to be seen is his effect when the team is on the road because so far, the rushing effort shuts down away from Cincy and the passing stats take a dip. Eifert has to make the difference because solely relying on A.J. Green hasn't gotten them to .500 so far.

QUARTERBACK : Andy Dalton's never has thrown for more than two scores in any game and he stays mostly in the average 250 yard range. But he scores at least once every week and even rushed in a touchdown in two of the last three games. Tyler Eifert is back and already making a difference but the schedule remain tough and Dalton's never been too successful with any other receivers beyond A.J. Green and not Eifert.

RUNNING BACK : Jeremy Hill had his season best 168 yards and a score in Week 7 against the Browns and scored once in Week 8 versus the Redskins with 20 carries for 76 yards, The problem this week is that Hill has not scored in any road game since the season opener and over four away venues, he's never gained more than 38 yards. Giovani Bernard also enjoyed the recent home games with a score in each and 87 total yards in the win over the Browns. He rarely gets more than a dozen or so carries so he remains below 50 rush yards in all but the Browns game. But Bernard has made a big difference in road games as a receiver. He caught 19 passes over the last three away trips but it could be lower from here on out with Tyler Eifert back.

WIDE RECEIVER : .A.J. Green only scored three times this year but has four games over 100 yards and has been worth at least 80 yards in all but the toughest matchups. Brandon LaFell rarely has more than 50 yards in any game but was on a three game scoring streak that ended when Eifert had his big game and left LaFell with just one catch for six yards. Tyler Boyd still searches for his first NFL touchdown but has shown up with around 80 yards in road trips to New England and Pittsburgh but remained safely below 40 yards in all other games.

TIGHT END : Tyler Eifert finally was healthy and for Week 8, he caught nine passes for 102 yards and a score. Eifert will continue to be a major part of the ongoing weekly game plan and should be second only to Green for targets. Eifert's first healthy game was the only other 100 yard game by a Bengals receiver other than Green.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Giants have not allowed more than two passing touchdowns in any game this year. They've only given up four passing scores over their four home games. The yardage allowed has been high in most games but this is a far better secondary than it was last year.

Consider Andy Dalton as safe for one passing score with a strong upside for two but he's never had more and the Giants have never given up more.

Tyler Eifert is always a good start and while the Giants have only allowed one passing score to a tight end this year, they have also never faced any of the elite tight ends. A.J. Green is also a must start every week but he could see some limitation here in a road game but this is Monday night and Green wants that stage. Brandon Lafell is a low end start in any week but did end up with scores in the last two road venues. He is a risk for a bad game like the one-catch disaster last week. But he is in a decent situation.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 15 12 9 21 17 23
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 5 15 23 21 31 14

New York Giants

1 @DAL 20-19 10 CIN ---
2 NO 16-13 11 CHI ---
3 WAS 27-29 12 @CLE ---
4 @MIN 10-24 13 @PIT ---
5 @GB 16-23 14 DAL ---
6 BAL 27-23 15 DET ---
7 @LA 17-10 16 @PHI ---
8 BYE --- 17 @WAS ---
9 PHI 28-23      
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 300,3
RB Rashad Jennings 30 3-20
RB Paul Perkins 50 3-20
WR Odell Beckham Jr 7-100,2
WR Sterling Shepard 5-70,1
TE Will Tye 3-40
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Giants have risen to a 5-3 record thanks to a defense that is playing better and an offense that has been just good enough for the last three games. That good enough to remain in the playoff hunt and within striking distance of the surprising Cowboys who they dealt their only loss back in the season opener. These next three weeks should be wins before the schedule gets far tougher. A lack of any rushing game is going to hurt but the defense is keeping the Giants in the game so it ends up on the shoulders of Eli Manning each week.

QUARTERBACK : Not too hard to decode the trend here. Eli Manning on the road has never thrown for more than 261 yards and totaled only one touchdown over the last three away venues. At home, Manning has three of his 300+ yard games and the only time he failed to reach that mark away from home was last week when he totaled four passing scores with 257 passing yards. Manning plays much better in New York.

RUNNING BACK : No Giants rusher has topped 67 yards that Shane Vereen gained in Week 3. There have only been four touchdowns scored by the position. Rashad Jennings rushed 33 times for 66 yards over his last three games for a 2.0 yard per carry average. Paul Perkins is expected to see more playing time if only because no other rusher has had any success. Perkins ran for 32 yards on 11 carries last week. The meager backfield stats are going to become more split up but at least Perkins has a chance to become the primary back. The offensive line does no favors here but Perkins is the final hope.

WIDE RECEIVER : Victor Cruz sprained his ankle last week and his status for this game will be determined later in the week. While he contributes 30 to 50 yards each week, he's never offered any fantasy value. Sterling Shepard has been in a low production funk since Week 3 with four straight games of no scores and never more than 30 yards. But versus the Eagles he finally scored and ended with 50 yards on three catches.

Odell Beckham has been held under 50 yards for the last two weeks but he scored twice in the win over the Eagles. In every other home game, he's gained at least 86 yards and his two 100+ yard efforts both happened in New York. He likes the lights of Monday night and he will be home.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Bengals have given up a passing score to every team other than the Browns. The only time that they have faced above average quarterbacks, they have allowed high yardage and three or four touchdowns. Kirk Cousins just hung 458 yards and two scores on them in Week 8. Expect a very healthy game from Manning who always does it at home even if he never does it in a road game.

The Bengals rushing defense is nothing special with five touchdowns allowed in the last four games but the Giants backfield has barely been good for 50 rushing yards combined in recent weeks. Paul Perkins is worth watching and maybe owning to see what happens but chances are best that nothing will and that the Giants backfield will be their Achilles heel all year.

The Bengals have given up a lot to tight ends but the last three weeks included Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett, Gary Barnidge, Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis. Those are more of an equivalent to wide receivers.

The Bengals have allowed four 100 yard receivers already. Consider Beckham as an obvious start but even Sterling Shepard becomes more interesting with a touchdown last week and the potential of Victor Cruz being out this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 24 8 22 20 27
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 28 23 5 29 7 13

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