Bengals try to end slump against another Manning


Bengals try to end slump against another Manning

CINCINNATI (AP) Peyton Manning came to town last weekend and had his way, sending the Bengals to their fourth straight loss by throwing three touchdown passes.

Now, it's little brother's turn to try to push Cincinnati one loss closer to a lost season.

Eli Manning and the New York Giants (6-3) come to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday looking to extend the family's history of success against Cincinnati. Peyton improved to 8-0 against the Bengals by leading Denver to a 31-23 win last Sunday.

Eli is 1-1 career against the Bengals (3-5), who have lost their last three home games.

``This week with this Manning, we've got to do those things we didn't do last week with the last Manning,'' defensive end Carlos Dunlap said.

The back-to-back visits by the Mannings were set up by the schedule rotation. The NFC East plays the AFC North this season, giving Eli a chance to face Cincinnati. And the AFC North plays the AFC West, Peyton's new place.

And they're taking full advantage.

Peyton and Eli talked by phone on Tuesday about their most recent games - the Giants lost to Pittsburgh at home on Sunday afternoon. Peyton shared some of his firsthand insights into the Bengals defense, which couldn't hold a fourth-quarter lead.

``So, Eli, we've been resources for each other,'' Peyton said. ``And certainly I pull hard for him and keep up with him and we encourage each other.''

The two of them talk a couple of times each week, soon after the last game and then again a few days before the next one. They catch up on their personal lives and trade tips and ideas about the teams they'll be playing.

Their back-to-back games against the Bengals gave Peyton a chance to provide an in-depth scouting report.

``We have a little bit different style of offense, but there always might be a tip or two that you might have eventually found but coming in, you can look for certain things,'' Eli said Wednesday on a conference call. ``So we definitely talked a little bit.''

What they shared stayed private, but some of it isn't hard to guess: Watch out for cornerback Terence Newman and expect a better effort out of a defensive line that hardly even touched Peyton.

The Broncos quarterback threw a pair of interceptions - both to Newman, one of them in the end zone - that helped the Bengals pull ahead early in the fourth quarter. Peyton pulled it out with his 48th game-winning drive, the most in NFL history.

The Bengals didn't sack Peyton and hardly touched him with their four-man rush.

``If you look at Peyton's career, he never gets touched,'' Dunlap said. ``That's Peyton. His scheme is for him to never touch the ground. We still want to get to him and get him down and touch him, but I didn't really get a lick on him.

``Last week we didn't get to Peyton, and this week we'll do everything we can to get to Eli.''

Defensive tackle Geno Atkins put it more bluntly.

``We have to get after the quarterback,'' Atkins said. ``We didn't do that the last game, but this game there's going to be an emphasis on trying to rattle him.''

The Broncos and Giants run different types of offenses. Peyton makes more decisions at the line of scrimmage and gets rid of the ball fast. Eli's Giants take more chances with the long pass, leaving the quarterback in play a few seconds longer.

Newman, who faced Eli regularly when he played in the same division with the Cowboys, sees similarities between him and his brother.

``He's like any great quarterback,'' Newman said. ``You've got Peyton, you've got Tom Brady, you've got Drew Brees. Those guys study the game. They know how to get the ball out. They're not just going to drop back and say `Hey, I'm going to go to this guy.' They know where to put the football, and when to deliver it.

``He's got all those qualities.''


NOTES: C Jeff Faine (hamstring) didn't practice Wednesday and C Trevor Robinson (hamstring) was limited. Coach Marvin Lewis expects both of them to practice on a limited basis Thursday. They had to share time against the Broncos because of their injuries. ... RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis was sick and missed practice. ... The game against the Giants hasn't sold out. The Bengals sold out their first three home games, one more than last season.


AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton in Englewood, Colo., contributed to this report.


Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Kawhi Leonard going to the Raptors may actually be good news for the Wizards and the East

USA Today Sports Images

Kawhi Leonard going to the Raptors may actually be good news for the Wizards and the East

Through nearly three weeks of NBA free agency and almost a month of trades, the Eastern Conference had remained eerily quiet. The Wizards had arguably been the most aggressive team in the East, as all the biggest moves had occurred in the West and, most notably, LeBron James changed coasts.

That all changed on Wednesday as the Toronto Raptors pulled off a trade with the San Antonio Spurs to land Kawhi Leonard, a two-time defensive player of the year. The full deal includes All-NBA guard DeMar DeRozan going to San Antonio along with big man Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first round pick. The Raptors also get guard Danny Green, according to ESPN.

Here are some takeaways from the trade...

This is good, potentially great news for the Wizards

The worst-case scenario for the Wizards and most of the East would have been if Leonard got dealt to either the Sixers or Celtics, as the potential would have been there for a dominant team. The Sixers, in particular, could have conceivably traded for Leonard without giving up much in the way of pieces that can help them now. They would have teamed Leonard with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid and would probably be the favorites to reach the NBA Finals. Instead, the Sixers struck out and now face the prospect of taking a pretty big L on this offseason, given all the guys they were tied to going into it.

Leonard and the Raptors will be good and they may even be better than they were last season. Though the Raptors won 59 games in the regular season, they disappointed in the playoffs. Leonard could change that, but he won't have the help to make them an unstoppable force. Kyle Lowry is good, but he's an aging player and they don't have a third star, at least not yet. They have a lot of recent first round picks that could, in theory, make the leap.

This deal is good for the Wizards and could become great if Leonard leaves in free agency next summer. If he does, the Raptors will be in deep trouble.

What will the Lakers do?

When James signed with the Lakers, most assumed they would then add at least one star to run with him. But now that Leonard is going to Toronto, it's very possible they don't add one at all. James might actually have to play with Lonzo Ball in addition to Lance Stephenson, Rajon Rondo and JaVale McGee. Sure, they can sign Leonard next summer or find another star then, but this is shaping up as of now to be a lost year for James.

As consistitued, they aren't winning anything of substance. It's just so surprising James would be cool with this level of talent around him considering what he could have done this season if he signed with Philly or some other team.

People are looking at the wrong contract

Much of the instant reaction to the Leonard trade was praise for the Raptors in ridding themselves of DeRozan's deal. That's a headscratcher. DeRozan is set to make over $27 million in the next three years, the third being a player option, but he's an All-NBA player who turns 29 next month. In the context of NBA contracts, that isn't too bad.

Lowry's contract, on the other hand, is borderline awful. He's 32 with his numbers heading in the wrong direction and he's due to make $31 million next season and $33.3 million the year after. It's not like the Raptors freed themselves of their worst deal.

Masai is making moves

This is a risk for the Raptors and you have to respect it. Their general manager, Masai Ujiri, had seen enough of the DeRozan-Lowry duo falling short in the playoffs. He fired head coach Dwane Casey and pulled off a trade for Leonard, who at his best is one of the premier players in the NBA.

There is considerable risk in this move with Leonard having missed 73 games last season with a quadriceps injury and given the fact he can opt to test free agency next summer. If he really does want to join the Lakers, he could leave the Raptors empty-handed.

But it's a risk that is probably worth taking. Everyone assumed the same future for Paul George and he ended up staying in Oklahoma City. It's not a guarantee Leonard leaves and now the Raptors have a year to convince him to stay. Ujiri should get praise for this deal because it's bold and he did one of the hardest things a GM can do in finding a top-5 talent for his team.

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

USA Today Sports Images

With LeBron gone and Kawhi in, who's the best player in the East?

With Kawhi Leonard off to the Raptors, we have a shakeup near the top when it comes to the best players in the East.

Whether it's a one-year rental or ends up being a long-term partnership, the Raptors got themselves an MVP candidate when he's healthy.

That's the issue though. What will Leonard be when he returns to the court after that quad injury took most of last season away from him?


With LeBron James now in Los Angeles, the East has a new pecking order when it comes to the top talent, which includes a couple of Wizards as well.

How do they stack up?

Well, here's your answer: