NFL Picks: Giants vs. Bengals Preview

David Lawrence

Friday, August 14, 2015 5:18 PM UTC

Friday, Aug. 14, 2015 5:18 PM UTC

We see a matchup tonight between two inverted teams: one a poor one but with a quality QB, the other a good one with a weakness at one important position. How will these very different kinds of teams react to playing each other?

What We Know About The Coaches
Tom Coughlin is 24-21 in the preseason, with most but not all of that record coming with the Giants He was 1-3 in the 2013 preseason but 5-0 last year. The Giants do have a lot to work on, so Coughlin might push his team toward victory in a way that other preseason coaches would not.

Marvin Lewis is 25-24 in the preseason, entirely as Cincinnati’s head coach. He’s gone 3-1 and 2-2 in his last two preseasons. Lewis doesn’t have a bad preseason record, but Coughlin might want this game a little more. Give a slight edge to the Giants.

Edge: Giants


Quarterback Rotation
The Giants will give a ton of time behind Eli Manning to backup Ryan Nassib, whom they drafted out of Syracuse a few years ago. Ricky Stanzi as the third-string man should also see a lot of playing time.

The Bengals don’t really need to push Dalton too much, even though he’s not as good as the team needs him to be. The Bengals will want to bring him along in time. For now, Cincinnati needs to see what A.J. McCarron and third-stringer Josh Johnson can do at quarterback. It’s going to be a young man’s night for the Bengals at quarterback. This should play to the Giants’ advantage.

Edge: Giants

Don't miss out Jason's NFL pick for this matchup!

Team Depth & Rotations
The Giants will not play several players in this game. Jameel McClain at linebacker; Geoff Schwartz and Will Beatty on the offensive line; and Nat Berhe and Chykie Brown in the secondary will join receiver Victor Cruz as players who won’t take the field. John Jerry is expected to replace Schwartz on the offensive line. On defense, an important player to watch for will be safety Bennett Jackson, who needs to become comfortable at the position after bouncing around the Giants’ alignment in the past.

The Bengals need backup receiver Marvin Jones to offer some support to what is generally a strong wide receiving corps. Jones and Brandon Tate should get a lot of playing time, but might not be effective. Those close to the Bengals have said that among the third-string players fighting for jobs, safety Derron Smith has been very good in camp, while defensive end Will Clarke has disappointed. Those players should get a long look in this game against the Giants. All in all, the Giants’ injuries and the Bengals’ inconsistency make this an even-steven category.

Edge: Even


Outlook & Pick
The Giants appear to be more in a mode of wanting to play well. Cincinnati knows that right now doesn’t matter as much as turning on the jets when the regular season starts. Take the Giants.

NFL Pick: Giants +2.5 at Will Hill

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