Giants eye opportunity in matchup vs. Bengals

The New York Giants are sympathetic to rookie quarterback Joe Burrow’s season-ending left knee injury but regardless of the opposing quarterback, they are aware of the situation and potential to win the NFC East.

The Giants seek their third straight victory Sunday afternoon when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals, who are expected to start Brandon Allen in place of Burrow.

New York (3-7) enters Week 12 tied with Washington and Dallas for second place in the East and a half-game behind 3-6-1 Philadelphia, which tied Cincinnati earlier this season. Washington visits Dallas on Thursday and the Giants own the head-to-head tiebreaker with them.

“It’s definitely a unique opportunity,” New York tight end Evan Engram said. “It’s even more unique coming off a bye week and having that motivation and having that sense of urgency and opportunity that’s ahead of us is different.”

After losing four games by eight points or less in a 1-7 start, New York is seeking three straight wins for the first time since a six-game run from Oct. 16 to Nov. 27, 2016. The Giants followed up a 23-20 win at Washington with a 27-17 victory over Philadelphia on Nov. 15.

Daniel Jones was an efficient 21-of-28 for 244 yards while also getting a 34-yard TD run early in the first quarter. Wayne Gallman also had a pair of short TD runs and has all of his five TDs in the last four games.

New York’s defense has also held opponents without a touchdown in the first half for three straight games and against Philadelphia, they did not allow a third-down conversion on nine attempts.

The Bengals lost Burrow when he tore multiple ligaments in last week’s 20-9 loss at Washington. Ryan Finley replaced Burrow and completed 3-of-10 passes for 30 yards.

Finley started three games last season and has been Cincinnati’s primary backup since entering the league as a fourth-round pick in 2019, but Allen is familiar with Bengals coach Zac Taylor from their time with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017 and 2018.

“It’s not fun,” Taylor said. “Joe was making improvements every week, and we were getting the offense headed in a direction that we thought was exciting. But that’s the way it goes. It’s ‘next man up.'”

Allen made three starts last season for Denver when he completed 39-of-84 passes for 515 yards and three touchdowns while getting sacked nine times.

The Bengals (2-7-1) have dropped their last two games since a 31-20 win over Tennessee on Nov. 1. After getting outplayed in a 36-10 loss to Pittsburgh, the Bengals squandered chances to win by missing two field goals and an extra point while Burrow lost a fumble at the goal line.

Burrow was injured after throwing a pass when Washington’s Jonathan Allen crashed into his left knee.

“It’s hard to lose our QB, our leader,” Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said. “Seeing the play and how it happened, I felt sorry for him because I know how much he wants to win.

The Bengals lead the all-time series 6-4 and the home team has won each meeting.

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