1) Find the rhythm. This means placing a higher importance on first downs as opposed to the big play. The Giants have picked up just 24 first downs in the last two weeks, which is low for an offense that was averaging that many each game.
2) Don’t let A.J. Green find the holes. Regardless of what he said during the week, Green would be noticed. He’s Cincinnati’s primary weapon and enters the game tied for first in the NFL with eight receiving touchdowns.
3) Shed and tackle. It’s best to hear this one from defensive coordinator Perry Fewell himself: “I thought that we didn’t shed well and we didn’t tackle well [last week]. That was my impression of how we played. We could’ve tackled a hell of a lot better. We could’ve shed a hell of a lot better in that football game to make some football plays.”
4) Cover. There’s a lot of pride on the Giants’ special teams, and last Sunday there were rare mistakes made by the coverage units, giving up two 60-yard returns. And, well, they’re ticked about it.
5) Anchor down. Cincinnati has the NFL’s second-highest sack percentage, and it does so with power rushing. The Giants can’t let that pocket collapse. Keep track of Geno Atkins in the middle.
6) Eleven to the ball. Built for the AFC North, Cincinnati’s offense is similar to Pittsburgh’s and will require a better showing against the run. At running back, it will be BenJarvus Green-Ellis this week and he has the ability to hit the hole and sprint away.
7) Capitalize. The Giants took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh after settling for a field goal. But the Giants last week failed again to punch it in from the four-yard line with a first-and-goal. They left four points on the field and lost by that amount.
8) Keep winning the turnover battle. This is the no-brainer of the week. The Giants continue to force turnovers at a plus-14 ratio, while the Bengals are minus-5.
9) Pressure Dalton. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has been sacked 22 times this season, which is tied for seventh-most in the NFL.
10) Get to the bye. Lay it all out for this game knowing there is a respite ahead. It will be that much more enjoyable with a 7-3 record as opposed to 6-4. It will keep the distance in the NFC East race, too.