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Giants vs. Bengals: Thoughts to Consider Before the Game

November 10, 2012

Here is an interesting fact.  In six out of the nine seasons, in which Tom Coughlin has coached the Giants, the team has started with a 6-2 record.  However, they have never been 7-2.  6-2 has equaled 6-3 one hundred percent of the time.

Therefore, we can officially stop worrying about the loss to Pittsburg.  It was destiny.  It was written in the stars.  It is time to move on to the Bengals.

Coughlin did not downplay the significance of this game.  He said, “This is a very, very important game for our football team.”  That’s two “verys.”  Then he added, “A lot of teams would like to be 6-3; we’d like to be 7-3.”

I concur. This team could use a statement win. It would help them and us avoid two weeks of discussing whether this is the beginning of another collapse. Winning this game would be nice, but a loss is certainly not the end of the world.

It’s a non-conference game, and we still have a two game lead in the division, thanks to a little help from our friends in New Orleans and Atlanta.  Plus, it is the last “should-win” game of the season. I never feel confident about “should-win” games, but I’m a little more at ease for this one.

First of all, the Giants should be fired up after how they played the last two weeks, and it’s their last game before the bye.  The Giants have one of the best records in the league before a bye week. I don’t want to know what their record is after the bye.  I’m sure it is at the other end of the spectrum, but that’s another issue for another day. The Giants also have not had much success in Cincinnati, but they certainly don’t want to go into the bye having lost two in a row. That is pretty decent motivation.

A.J. Green kindly offered up some extra motivation in case the Giants were still lacking any.  The Bengals wide receiver wins the genius of the week award for pointing out that the Giants defense has holes. No kidding.  What defense doesn’t have some deficiencies?   Plus, why—why in the world—would you antagonize the guys you are about to face?

The Giants defense will certainly keep their eye on Green as they look to bounce back from yet another subpar performance.  The offense also needs to get their act together, but they may have to do it without Bradshaw and Nicks.

Ahmad Bradshaw did not practice on Friday, but he made the trip.  I would expect Bradshaw to play, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of Andre Brown, even though he too is a little banged up with an injured shoulder.  I also would not be shocked if we don’t see a lot of Nicks.  Hakeem is listed as probable but is still dealing with his knee injury.  Although it’s not really Coughlin’s style, it must be somewhat tempting, with the bye, to give these guys an extra week of rest.

Regardless of who plays and doesn’t play, the outcome of this game may not be all that important for the Giants.  Consider this other interesting fact about the team who is destined to start 6-3.  Four out of the five previous times, in which the Giants have begun their season 6-3, they have made the playoffs, and, of those four attempts, they have won the Super Bowl twice.  That’s 50% of the time.  That’s batting .500.  I like those odds, and I’d love to hear what you think about the Giants chances of beating the Bengals, making the playoffs, and/or repeating as Super Bowl Champs.

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