The Bengals were owning the second half until Trevin Wade put a stop to it.
The cornerback made one of the more overlooked plays of the Giants’ 21-20 victory Monday night when he broke up a pass in the end zone intended for receiver Tyler Boyd on a third-and-5 play from the 20 early in the third quarter. Boyd seemed to catch the pass — to the point that one official raised his arms to signal touchdown — but replays showed the ball bounced out of his hands as he hit the painted turf of the end zone. The officials huddled and declared it an incompletion.
“I saw the ball on the ground,” Wade said of the play’s aftermath. “I figured it was incomplete because he wasn’t celebrating.”
The stop forced the Bengals to kick a field goal and take a 20-14 lead rather than score the touchdown that would have made it 24-14. In what became a one-point win for the Giants, that four-point swing was huge.
“They did a funky formation and we were kind of caught in a bind,” Wade said of the play. “I guess Landon [Collins] was behind me, but when I turned around, I didn’t see nobody, so I just went deep. They came vertical and I tried to do what I could.”
That play was the last time the Bengals came close to scoring in the game. After that the defense settled down, the offense kicked into gear for a touchdown and the Giants rolled along for their fourth straight win.
It also was the second time in two games that Wade was in the end zone to make a crucial play. Last week, he defended a fourth-down pass by the Eagles that would have given them the win.
“We’re just trying to build off each game,” Wade said. “Everybody knows what happened last year. But we’re a different defense and we’re coming together every game.”