Giants defer. From the Bengals' low point totals in the second half to wanting the wind, there were a number of reasons Tom Coughlin elected to kickoff to begin the game. It was the first time the Giants had deferred all season. Cincinnati's A.J. Green caught a 56-yard touchdown on the fifth play of the game for a hot start by the Bengals.
Penalty forces Weatherford to re-punt. After the Giants went three-and-out on their first possession, punter Steve Weatherford seemingly helped the field position battle as he booted a 61-yard punt out of bounds at Cincinnati's 14. However, Justin Tryon illegally went out of bounds and the Giants were forced to punt again after the penalty. On the second try, Adam Jones broke a 68-yard return down to the Giants' 11. It was the second straight week special teams gave up a return of 60 yards or more; this one led to another Andy Dalton touchdown pass three plays later.
Field goals, not touchdowns. As poorly as the first half went for the Giants, they still had a chance to make it a one-possession game before heading into the locker room. Down 17-3 (the Giants had earlier settled for a 23-yard field goal), the offense again was unable to find the end zone after having a first-and-10 at Cincinnati's 14. Lawrence Tynes instead kicked a 31-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 17-6. A 17-10 hole would have been a victory for the Giants knowing they had the ball to start the second half.
Three straight turnovers.Bad quickly became worse coming out of halftime when the Giants turned the ball over on three straight possessions. The first was Ahmad Bradshaw's fumble, followed by two Eli Manning interceptions that led to 14 points from the Bengals, giving them 31 points for the day. The Bengals later strip-sacked Manning for the Giants' fourth and final turnover of the game.