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Ben McAdoo’s aggressiveness at end of game the difference

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo enters

New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo enters the field for warmups before a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Ben McAdoo is quickly earning a reputation around the league for being an aggressive play-caller and a risk-taking head coach. Monday night’s call to go for the winning touchdown on fourth-and-goal at the 3 certainly helped cement that idea.

But McAdoo didn’t simply roll the dice in that situation. He said on Tuesday that he had reasons for his decision.

“We were down by 6 and it’s tough to move the ball against that defense,” he said, suggesting the Giants might not get another chance in the red zone. “I thought we had a good plan. I liked our stack there.”

He also liked the way the Giants practiced in the red zone during the week.

“If we didn’t practice well down there we would have kicked a field goal,” he said. “But we practiced well. I thought [Eli Manning] was spinning it pretty good. The play calls we had down there I was comfortable and confident in.”

Manning wound up connecting with Sterling Shepard for the TD that gave the Giants the 21-20 win. So given all of that, does McAdoo consider himself an aggressive coach?

“I’d like to think so,” he said.

Cruz expected back

Victor Cruz, who missed Monday night’s game with an ankle injury, is expected to practice with the team on Thursday, McAdoo said. Cruz said on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio on Tuesday that “chances are high” he will play against the Bears on Sunday, but he still has to get through the workout. The Giants have a jog-through on Wednesday.

The Giants can certainly use Cruz after his replacement, rookie Roger Lewis Jr., struggled with dropped passes and poor routes. “He had some moments where he needs to play better,” McAdoo said. “I expect him to learn from those moments and he’ll improve.”

Giant steps

After being benched against the Eagles for poor play, first-round pick Eli Apple played every defensive snap of the game against the Bengals and allowed just one catch. “Eli bounced back,” McAdoo said. “He bounced back nicely.” . . . McAdoo said CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie woke up on Monday with a tight back and that’s why the Giants decided to use him sparingly in the game. While DRC has had back issues in the past, McAdoo said he’s hopeful this will not be a long-term issue . . . McAdoo praised OT Marshall Newhouse for replacing Brett Jones at left guard after the first series. “For him to go in there and pay well enough to give us a chance to win the game says a lot about him,” McAdoo said.

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