Giants.com breaks down the state of the team following Monday's win:
A fourth-down gamble by Ben McAdoo led to a fourth-straight victory for the New York Giants.
With his team trailing by six points early in the fourth quarter, the first-year head coach kept his offense on the field for a fourth-and-goal at the Bengals 3-yard line. The decision paid off as Eli Manning hit rookie wide receiver Sterling Shepard for a touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner in a 21-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
"We knew it was going to take touchdowns to beat this team," McAdoo said. "[Cincinnati is] a good football team, and we felt like we needed to score touchdowns."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
Coming out of the two-minute warning, Rashad Jennings ripped off a 25-yard run, tied for the Giants' longest carry of the season. The Bengals had no more timeouts, allowing Eli Manning to take a knee for the victory. Jennings ran out the clock with 38 yards on the final drive as the offense finished with a season-high 122 rushing yards after averaging 42.8 in the previous four outings.
PLAY OF THE GAME
After linebacker Jonathan Casillas and defensive tackle Damon Harrison got to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton on second down, defensive end Olivier Vernon sacked him again on third-and-17 with under four minutes left in the game. The Bengals were forced to punt and never regained possession.
Players who stood out during Monday night's game against the Bengals
"We expect anybody on the defense to make plays," Vernon said. "We've got a lot of playmakers that can do special things. To come out with a win, it was a great performance. We've got a lot to look forward to next week."
*KEY STAT *
The Giants dominated on third down, not allowing a conversion on Cincinnati's first seven attempts. The Bengals did not have a conversion until 13:30 remained in the fourth quarter and had just two on 11 attempts on the night.
BEST QUOTE FROM THE LOCKER ROOM
"Never had a stretch like this. Not in college or in high school." – safety Landon Collins on recording his fourth interception in three games.
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR THE GIANTS
The Giants didn't get any help in the standings as they watched all three of their NFC East rivals win on Sunday. First-place Dallas (8-1) pulled out a 35-30 victory over Pittsburgh; Washington (5-3-1), the reigning division champion, defeated Minnesota, 26-20; and Philadelphia (5-4) handed Atlanta a 24-15 loss. Seeing that, the Giants knew they had to hold serve and did so, improving to 6-3 with their fourth win in a row. They currently hold sole possession of second place in the only division with all four teams above .500. The Chicago Bears (2-7) come to town in Week 11 to cap a three-game homestand.
"Nice team win tonight; we know it's tough to win in this league," McAdoo said. "I thought we stayed the course through all the ups and downs in the ball game, there were quite a few. Defense got to the quarterback at the end of the ball game. Offense ended it with four minutes, which was encouraging for us. Special teams had some opportunities and they pinned them back in the ball game to help with field position. We have to enjoy it fast, it's a short week, then we're on to Chicago."
WHAT THE LOSS MEANS FOR THE BENGALS
Coming off their bye week after a 27-27 tie with the Redskins in London, the Bengals dropped to 3-5-1 on the season while remaining in third place in the AFC North. Including the loss to the Giants, Cincinnati's five losses have been to teams with a combined record of 32-14: Giants (6-3), Patriots (7-2), Cowboys (8-1), Broncos (7-3) and Steelers (4-5).
"We end up having to kick field goals, and that ended up probably being the difference in the football game," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "If we get touchdowns, especially from the 7-yard line there – an opportunity there. [We] did good things on offense, but not enough; and obviously, we've still got to protect the quarterback better all the way through."