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NFC vs. AFC here as the Cincinnati Bengals host the New York Giants. The Giants are 2-0 this preseason and have plenty to be excited about, as rookie quarterback Daniel Jones has looked really good in his first pro action. The Bengals are 1-1 in their first two games under new head coach Zac Taylor.
Jones or Manning?
The New York Giants are heading into what looks to be a transitional year. They’ve brought back Eli Manning for one more year, but it looks like it’ll probably be his last with the team. The Giants have caught a lot of flack for sticking by Manning for this long, but they finally made a move toward replacing him earlier this offseason.
They drafted Daniel Jones sixth overall from Duke, a move which also drew a ton of criticism. Many analysts thought Jones was going to go way later in the draft, and GM Dave Gettleman had to go on the defensive to explain the pick. Fortunately, things seem to be going pretty well so far. To the surprise of many, Jones has looked very good this preseason. The Giants have insisted that they plan on redshirting Jones, but his play so far might have them reconsidering that. Manning will likely get a lot of run in this third preseason game, and if he looks bad here then the calls for Jones to play early on will only grow louder.
Hey rookie, @saquon's got your back
— New York Giants (@Giants) August 19, 2019
Depth matters a lot in the preseason, and unfortunately, the Giants’ receiving corp is pretty banged up at the moment. Sterling Shepard is dealing with a thumb injury and won’t play here, and projected third receiver Corey Coleman tore his ACL. New York has been very cautious with Saquon Barkley and they haven’t played him so far this preseason, and I wouldn’t expect him to play more than a handful of snaps here.
Bengals Entering New Era
Like the Giants, the Bengals are also undergoing a big transition. The team finally fired Marvin Lewis after nearly two decades, a move some people thought they were never going to make. To replace him they opted to go with a young offensive whizkid in Zac Taylor. Taylor is only 35, and he previously served as the Rams’ quarterbacks coach under Sean McVay. The hiring raised a lot of eyebrows, and many people were dismissive of Taylor and though he only got the job because of his association with McVay. Taylor has a lot of people to prove wrong, and the Bengals are expected to be one of the worst teams in the league this season. The team has already been dealt several tough blows.
Just finished watching the game and the clear standout for the #bengals was a backup QB playing like a true pro.
I know it’s early days but for a rookie – Ryan Finley has fantastic footwork and pocket awareness.
Evades the blitzing LB with grace here. pic.twitter.com/lAJD0ujidq
— Sam Ainger (@sam_ainger) August 16, 2019
The 11th overall pick Jonah Williams, expected to be their starting left tackle, will miss his entire rookie season after suffering a shoulder injury. To make matters worse, current left tackle Cordy Glenn is out with a concussion. The retirement of left guard Clint Boling forced the Bengals to start another new player, possibly rookie Michael Jordan.
Star receiver A.J. Green will miss the first few games of the season after suffering an ankle injury. The Bengals beat the Redskins 23-13 in their first preseason game, but then lost 38-17 in their second. The third preseason game is often referred to as the dress rehearsal, which means we should see a good amount of Andy Dalton here. The Bengals drafted quarterback Ryan Finley out of N.C. State in the fourth round, and he’ll receive a good amount of run here as well. Overall, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from him this preseason.
Jesse Bates: “The expectation here is to win football games. That’s what our fans expect from us. Hopefully, we can prove that to them and pack the stadium.”
Updated on Aug 22 at 10:50am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
The Sharps have picked a side in this one and it is the Bengals. Cincinnati has gone fro, -1.5 to -3 despite New York getting 56% of the bets.
Injury / Weather Report
New York’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: DB Deandre Baker
Out: OT George Asafo-Adjei, LB Nate Harvey, and DB Kamrin Moore
Cincinnati’s Impact Injury Report
Questionable: OT Cordy Glenn, RB Trayveon Williams, TE Tyler Eifert, and DE Carl Lawson.
Out: DB Clayton Fejedelem, WR A.J. Green, and DB Darqueze Dennard
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m rolling with Cincinnati at home here. Manning will be playing a lot here, which probably isn’t a good thing for New York. The Bengals will be motivated in front of their home crowd for this regular season dress rehearsal, and I like what I’ve seen from Finley so far. Jones is due for a bit of regression, and I think we could see some here.
Full-Game Total Pick
I also like the over here. The Bengals have been playing pretty fast in their preseason games, and their last game against the Chiefs had 55 total points. Jones has looked very good, and Finley has been promising as well. Both teams should have some success offensively, and the pace should be pretty fast.