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Giants vs. Bengals: Three key matchups

Here are three key matchups in this Sunday's New York Giants-Cincinnati Bengals game.

Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Geno Atkins of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Here are three key matchups in this Sunday's New York Giants-Cincinnati Bengals game. The Giants are 6-3, while the Bengals enter the game at 3-5 and on a four-game losing streak.

Kevin Boothe, David Baas vs. Geno Atkins

The Giants might be without three-time Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee (ankle) on Sunday. Fortunately, Atkins plays the other side and will likely line up most of the time against Kevin Boothe and center David Baas. Atkins has seven sacks, 21 combined hits and quarterback hurries and is by far the highest-rated defensive in the league in the Pro Football Focus rating system, with a score of +27.8. How impressive is that number? Randy Starks of Miami is second in the league among defensive tackles with a score of +14.6. So, yes, that is an amazing number and the Giants have their hands full with Atkins.

[Related: Giants vs. Bengals hub page]

Victor Cruz vs. Cincinnati secondary

While the Giants have been struggling on offense the past few weeks, and with Hakeem Nicks limited by foot and knee injuries, Cruz has admitted teams are paying more attention to him. "More double teams, more guys in my face. Not so much off coverage, more physicality. More of them trying to get their hands on me," Cruz said of what he has seen recently.

The Giants have got to move Cruz around and find ways to get him some space, or someone like Nicks, Domenik Hixon or Martellus Bennett has to make some plays and force the Bengals to pay for the attention Cruz is sure to get.

Giants' secondary vs. A.J. Green

The talented Cincinnati wide receiver ran his mouth this week about the Giants having "a lot of holes" in their secondary. Green has a point, as the Giants have given up 45 plays of 20 yards or more through nine games -- third-most in the league. The Giants will need to stop Green from making some of those big plays in order to keep Cincinnati from pulling off the upset.