No one can ever say the Giants don’t make it interesting. Today at the Meadowlands, the champions went to 3-0, but it wasn’t easy, as they went to overtime before finally topping a game Bengals team from Cincy 26-23. The game-winner came in OT as John Carney nailed a 22-yard field goal for the win. The drive was highlighted by a acrobatic catch by Amani Toomer on third-down that kept the drive alive. The catch was huge as he kept it on his fingertips and his feet in bounds.
It was a good game to watch, as there was six lead changes, and the Bengals showed that despite being 0-3, and playing two bad games to start the season, they are talented enough to play with anyone. Carson Palmer, who had just 228 yards throwing in the first two weeks of the season, came back to form, as he threw for 286 yards and a TD to T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
The Bengals defense though in the end, gave up a few plays in that OT drive that led the Giants to the win. They gave up 406 yards, as Manning threw for 289 yards and a score to TE Kevin Boss. The winning drive started with 10:28 left in the extra period, and saw Manning go 2-for-4, with completions to Plaxico Burress for 28 yards and then Toomer for 31 yards, setting the ball up at the Cincy 7.
From there Derrick Ward went for four yards to the three, setting up Carney for the easy field goal. The Bengals had come back from down 20-17 as Shayne Graham kicked a 21-yard field goal with :04 left in regulation to tie the game. The Bengals had the call on the Giants three, but settled for the tie and their shot at getting the win in the extra period. They had the ball once in OT, but went three and out as on third-and-8 from their 27, Palmer went incomplete, and the team punted.
Ward ran for 80 yards on 9 carries to lead the Giants, and Brandon Jacobs had 35 yards on 14 carries with a score. Toomer led the passing game with five grabs for 64 yards, with the 31-yard catch being the key to the game. The Giants are 3-0 for the first time since 2000 – the year they eventually went to but lost the Super Bowl to the Ravens.
Next week the Bengals are at home to host the Browns. The Giants are off next week as they have their bye week.