Cincinnati Bengals v New York Giants, Friday August 23, 00:00
After a season blighted by poor performances and off-field controversies, the New York Giants are hoping for a better 2019 campaign and take on the Bengals in their next warm-up fixture.
One More Year for Manning
Eli Manning’s continued decline was one of the ongoing narratives of the 2018 season but despite his drop-off in terms of form, the Giants have decided that he’s good for one more season at least. Fans and pundits may not agree, but it looks as though potential replacement Daniel Jones will be spending the campaign on the sidelines. Manning has even less to work with this year. While the offensive line has been boosted by the arrival of Kevin Zeitler, the loss of a string of veterans, including Odell Beckham Jr, means the Giants are facing a season of rebuilding.
Bengals Set to Struggle
Despite finishing bottom of the AFC North last year, there is a flicker of optimism for Bengals fans this time around. They are unlikely to suffer as many injuries as they endured last time round, and in Tyler Eifert, they have one of the league’s most exciting tight ends. But Eifert has been injury prone in the past, while there are doubts about quarterback Andy Dalton’s consistency.
Although the Bengals defense remains above average for the NFL, they haven’t strengthened much during the off season, and with the Cleveland Browns transformed into play-off contenders, the Bengals may once again be left propping up the North Division.
Giants Going for Perfect Three
With home advantage, the Bengals are the favourites, according to bookmakers, and can generally be backed at around the 4/6 mark. They’ve had mixed results in their pre-season games so far, losing against likely play-off contenders Kansas City Chiefs, and beating the Washington Redskins.
But the Giants have been more impressive in their warm-up games this far. They’ve beaten the Jets and, more significantly, the Chicago Bears, who made the play-offs last season. With most starters, including the pivotal Saquon Barkley, set to take part at some point in this game, some NFL punters may well be tempted to back the Giants to continue their run at odds of 11/8.