Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/11/12
CINCINNATI - The New York Giants have been down this road in Novembers past and still made it to February. After flatlining Sunday in a 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, they have to hope they can regroup, recharge and come back from their upcoming bye weekend ready to play like the Giants of the last several seasons -- and even the team they were several weeks ago. Besides a 1.5-game lead in the NFC East, hope is about the only positive thought the Giants take forward. The defending Super Bowl champions played Sunday like they were already on vacation, allowing the Bengals to jump out to an early lead and then watching the game spin out of control amidst a flurry of second half turnovers and sloppiness. Quarterback Eli Manning struggled for the third straight week, and by the time this one was over he'd been sacked four times and intercepted twice. The Bengals (4-5) won for the first time since September and beat a team with a winning record for the first time since last November. A second-straight loss drops the Giants to 6-4, and after the game Giants coach Tom Coughlin seemed more puzzled than enraged. "I certainly don't quite understand where we are and why (we're there)," Coughlin said. Naturally, the first look for an answer goes in the direction of Manning. After catching fire during a four-game win streak that started on Oct. 7, Manning has thrown just one touchdown pass in the past four games. Had it not been for a late drive in what was a 25-point game, Manning would have posted his third game in the last four with under 200 yards passing. With the help of the last drive, he finished 26-of-49 for 215 yards, a lost fumble in addition to the interceptions and a quarterback rating of 56, almost 30 points below his rating for the season. "Every year we have gone through stretches where we didnt play our best football and we were still able to bounce back," Manning said. "Thats what is going on right now. Offensively, were not playing our best, converting on third downs, or scoring in the red zone. We havent made enough plays to keep the ball in our hands at all. "I have to start playing better personally and we need to as a group as well. We still have good players and a good scheme. We just have to put it together better." It's a bit of deja vu for the Giants, who also started last year 6-2, then lost four straight in a span that started on Nov. 13. At least in part because the Giants came back, got hot and went on to win the Super Bowl, there was no panic in the vistor's locker room late Sunday afternoon. There was an admission that the Giants currently have more questions than answers, and that the bye week comes at a good time. "I still believe Eli will bounce back and play the way he's played in the past," Coughlin said. "At a championship level." Said Manning: "We have to get better. That wasn't our best effort today." Coughlin said he'd given no thought to his team's past November performances, and he wouldn't discuss the possibility that his team was emotionally drained after a month that included a win at San Francisco, then back-to-back NFC East rivalry games before last week's fourth-quarter loss to the Steelers. "We certainly got in this mess together and we're going to have to get out together," Coughlin said. "We have a good team. Weve done things very, very well here. Weve got to snap out of whatevers going on and get back to playing the way were capable of playing." The Bengals scored 14 points in the first 4:07 Sunday, a start that energized a team that was on a four-game losing streak and one from which the Giants wouldn't recover. The first touchdown came when the NFL's leader in receiving touchdowns, A.J. Green, ran basically uncovered up the sideline for a 56-yard score. "I have no idea how I got that open," Green said. The Giants don't either. Even after that horrific start, the Giants had chances to get back into the game. They drove to the Bengals' 13-yard line but settled for a field goal and a 17-6 deficit late in the first half, then really fell apart in the third quarter when turnovers led to the Bengals driving a total of 28 yards for two more touchdowns. The game was already pretty much decided by the time the fourth quarter started, but Victor Cruz dropping what would have been a touchdown pass on the first play of the final quarter symbolized what had gone on in the previous three and why the Giants left Cincinnati with so many questions. Sunday just wasn't the Giants' day. So far -- again -- November is not the Giants' month.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

A San Diego storm has turned Petco Park into a lake

Top eight storylines for NFL Scouting Combine

Mike D’Antoni calls out Rockets for being ‘soft’ again

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker