Continuing our experimental series to highlight key plays within each quarter, we hit the second quarter where both teams picked up a field goal before half time.
Cincinnati's second quarter against the New York Giants didn't shift much in terms of the overall momentum. In fact there were only two sustaining possessions throughout the quarter. Cincinnati pieced together a 15-play drive, which New York responded to with a 14-play drive of their own, both ending in a field goal. There wasn't much room for anything else.
FOURTH DOWN CONVERSION
With 7:44 remaining in the second quarter, Bengals head coach elected not to fight the wind with a lengthy Mike Nugent field goal attempt. Instead they went for it on fourth and two from the Giants 37-yard line with a 14-3 lead. Andy Dalton takes the snap and momentarily felt an instinctual need to scramble. Yet he composes himself, sets his feet and finds Mohamed Sanu over the middle, splitting coverage within the linebackers zone. The 15-yard gain and another first down that followed, Nugent converted on a 28-yard field goal to give Cincinnati a 17-3 lead.
QUARTERBACK SACK LATE IN THE SECOND
With :48 second remaining in the second quarter, Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap converged for a quarterback sack on Cincinnati's 14-yard line. Not only did it push New York back six yards to the 20-yard line, it forced the Giants to use their final timeout. Eli Manning only managed a seven-yard dump off to Aaron Brown and an incomplete to tight end Martellus Bennett (who failed to get his initial foot inbounds).
The Giants converted a 31-yard field goal, concluding the second quarter with an exchange of field goals.