Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner to receiver Sterling Shepard early in the fourth quarter, as New York beat the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 on Monday.
The Giants held a 14-10 halftime lead but the Bengals made a fast start to the second half at MetLife Stadium when Alex Erickson broke free for an 84-yard kickoff return to give the Bengals first-and-10 on the Giants 13.
Two plays later, the Bengals were 17-14 ahead thanks to running back Jeremy Hill’s nine-yard touchdown run, the first of 10 unanswered points by Cincinnati.
After the Giants went three-and-out, Erickson did it again, this time with an 18-yard punt return that gave his team excellent starting field position.
As the Bengals continued to sprinkle in pre-snap movement that seemed to confuse the Giants defense, particularly on a 21-yard pass to A.J. Green, the Bengals increased their lead to 20-14 on kicker Mike Nugent’s second field goal of the game.
The Giants finally got on the board again with 14:05 left in the fourth quarter when Manning connected with Shepard for a three-yard touchdown pass on fourth down. That score put the Giants back on top 21-20.
After New York took the lead Landon Collins picked off an Andy Dalton pass intended for tight end Tyler Krotft. It was Collins’ third straight game with at least one interception.
With the win, the Giants (6-3) retain their hold on second place in the NFC East. They will close out their three-game home stand next week against the Chicago Bears.
The Bengals (3-5-1) return home to host the Buffalo Bills next week.
The Giants went into halftime with a four-point lead, thanks to Odell Beckham Jr’s 10-yard touchdown catch with 1:17 left in the first half.
Beckham, who earlier in the game became the fastest receiver to reach 3,500 yards, doing so in 36 games, beat Bengals cornerback Adam Jones for the score that put his team back in the lead.
The Giants got on the board first when Manning connected with rookie tight end Jerell Adams on a 10-yard scoring pass to give New York the 7-0 lead.
The Bengals answered with a touchdown drive of their own, ending when Dalton then connected with Green for a 13-yard touchdown reception to even the score at 7-7.
The Bengals temporarily took a 10-7 lead on Nugent’s 25-yard field goal in the second quarter, a score that was set up by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick’s second interception of the season on a Manning pass intended for receiver Roger Lewis Jr.
(Editing by John O’Brien)