Published: Wed, November 16, 2016
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Elmira Native Austyn Johnson Sings National Anthem at Giants Game


The first came when they started a drive at the 7 after Dre Kirkpatrick's interception in the second quarter. They are riding a four-game winning streak and could really stretch that streak out with games against the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns on the docket.

Cincinnati Bengals free safety George Iloka (43) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Tavarres King (15) during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Bengals twice had to settle for field goals when they got to the red zone. NY could have opted to kick the field goal, but head coach Ben McAdoo chose to leave his offense on the field without hesitation. Baltimore leads with a 5-4 mark, followed by Pittsburgh at 4-5 and then the Bengals, who are a game and a half out with two teams to overtake.

Beckham carried that experience over to Monday night's game against the Bengals. "It's a good feeling". The Giants don't blow teams out but they are getting the job done in close games, something they didn't do last season. "We should have won this game". They were hoping for more.

Why? Because they're not giving up points when points would hurt the most. "I'm being accountable. Last year, I had a bad season". They just lost 21-20 on Monday night at the Giants. Green did not record a catch on a pass that traveled 20 or more yards in the air on Monday night despite seeing three such targets.

The Giants had the NFL's worst defense a year ago, but spent over $200million to sign free agents like defensive end Olivier Vernon, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

Shepard, who earlier in the game dropped a third-down pass play when he tried to make a move up field before securing the ball, said he was glad to be able to make up for his botched play earlier with what turned out to be the game victor. "I don't know why we didn't".

The broader effect of the defensive infusion, though, is that it allows coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to maximize the players he has and put the combinations on the field that he prefers.

With 21 points, the Giants are still searching for a breakout game offensively in terms of putting points on the board.

Make plays they did.

The Giants defense took over from there, closing it out on Landon Collins' fourth interception in the past three games and two stops, the last on consecutive sacks of Andy Dalton with less than five minutes to play.

The Bengals are one of the healthiest teams in the National Football League, so injuries can't explain their dramatic drop-off from a year ago when they tied the franchise record with 12 wins. And if his teammates were surprised it was only because it had taken that long.

This was the kind of impact the Giants envisioned when they paired Vernon and Pierre-Paul. "So it comes down to execution and guys making plays". The Giants moved up to draft him at the top of the second round in 2015, and coming out of Alabama he was used to success.

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