The quarter that Cincinnati beat the New York Giants, in more ways than one. Cincinnati's defense was the biggest contributor, forcing an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble that stalled a potential scoring drive, combined with two interceptions that directly led to touchdowns. The third quarter began with Cincinnati holding onto a 17-6 lead; it ended with a bone-crushing defensive effort with the Bengals leading 31-6.
THE ADAM JONES FORCED FUMBLE
Second time that Adam Jones made a huge play on Sunday. With different units, no less.
Thanks in part to a 68-yard Steve Weatherford punt, compounded by an offensive hold from Jermaine Gresham with 13:11 remaining in the third quarter, the Cincinnati Bengals were steadily losing the field position game early in the second half. By the 11:52 mark in the third quarter, the Giants had possession on their own 47-yard line. A 13-yard Hakeem Hicks reception followed by back-to-back Ahmad Bradshaw runs for 13 yards combined, the Giants had first down at Cincinnati's 27-yard line.
By this point the Bengals were only holding onto a 17-6 lead and the Giants were threatening.
Bradshaw takes another handoff around the left edge, barreling down the sidelines for 11 yards. Suddenly Adam Jones comes from behind, punches out the football out and Carlos Dunlap recovers. Bengals ball. Cincinnati's offense didn't respond, but the Bengals recovered field position and halted a likely Giants scoring possession.
PAT SIMS INTERCEPTION
Geno Atkins should get mostly every player of the game accolade, despite not recording a quarterback sack. With 7:22 remaining in the third quarter, Atkins beat his man and yanked a fistful of Eli Manning jersey from behind. What ensued was a panicked quarterback trying to get rid of the football. What resulted was Pat Sims reaching out and picking off the football for an interception.
This time the Bengals scored on a ten-yard Jermaine Gresham touchdown, expanding their lead 24-6.
NATE CLEMENTS INTERCEPTION
We won't bore you with the details. Just remember what Atkins did on the previous interception, replay that in your mind, except imagine Carlos Dunlap hitting Manning as he released the football, which floated into the embracing arms of Nate Clements.
The Bengals further extended their lead 31-6 on Mohamed Sanu's ten-yard touchdown.
[First Quarter Snapshot: Bengals Fast Start]
[Second Quarter Snapshot: Exchanging Exciting Field Goals]