New York Giants questions will be answered vs. Bengals

Eli Manning, New York Giants. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Eli Manning, New York Giants. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The New York Giants have looked pretty good in the preseason. Unfortunately, they haven’t been tested very much so far, barely playing against starters. That changes this week.

It’s been a good preseason for Pat Shurmur’s New York Giants. Or has it been? In two games, both wins, Big Blue has barely faced their opponent’s respective first units. The Jets kept their starters in for one series on both offense and defense, while Chicago didn’t even bother to dress out their starters.

Out of all preseason games, the third is the one that most resembles a regular-season NFL contest. Teams play their starters for at least a half and sometimes up to three quarters. This week is the real test. The New York Giants starters will see how well they stack up against Cincinnati’s best in the Queen City.

Both of the Giants main quarterbacks, Eli Manning, and Daniel Jones have been well protected thus far. The experienced Giants offensive line has basically had an easy time with the NYJ and Bears subs. It’s given the unit a chance to gel. Going against standout defensive tackle Geno Atkins and pass-rushing DE Carlos Dunlap, will be their first real test.

Although the rest of Cincy’s defense is a bit more suspect, there are a few things the New York Giants offense will learn about themselves. Among the questions they can answer are:

  • Is the O-line is as good as they’ve looked or was it an illusion built on their inferior competition?
  • Does Manning still have it?
  • Daniel Jones has done a good job placing his passes, how well will he do against good defensive backs?
  • Can the New York Giants receivers get open against quality players?


Maybe more important than the offense, this game is a huge test for James Bettcher’s defense. Against the Jets starters in game one, they looked bad. NYJ signal-caller Sam Darnold had little to no pressure on him, taking his team on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to open 2019. Since then it’s been all subs and second-teamers that they have faced.

Andy Dalton isn’t exactly the next Dan Marino, but he is a legit NFL quarterback. He can work the field and has good mobility. His offense is depleted, star receivers John Ross III, and AJ Green won’t play, and All-Pro tight end Tyler Eifert will be limited. That doesn’t mean the QB can’t inflict some damage on the G-Men.

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Additionally, Joe Mixon is a top-notch running back. Last season, he ran for 1168 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games. Mixon added another 296 yards on 43 receptions. Although it’s unknown how long he’ll play in the game, this is the guy that the defense needs to focus on.

For honesty purposes, aside from Dalton and Mixon, the rest of the Bengals skill players tonight aren’t much better than the ones Chicago started with last week. Nevertheless, some questions on this side of the ball will be answered as well.

  • Can first-round pick, defensive tackle, Dexter Lawrence, get a sustained push against starting quality offensive linemen?
  • Where will the pass rush come from?
  • Can someone other than Janoris Jenkins cover man?

After Thursday night both the Giants and the rest of the league will get a better handle on what this team is all about.

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