CINCINNATI — Daniel Jones completed a difficult week with an encouraging performance Thursday night, leading the New York Giants to a touchdown during a 25-23 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Zac Taylor’s first home game as head coach.
In a GQ article published Tuesday , Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield said he was stunned that the Giants drafted the quarterback from Duke in the first round. Mayfield tried to tamp down the comment and texted Jones to explain his remarks.
Jones got into the game on the Giants’ second series and went 9 of 11 for 141 yards the rest of the half. He had completions of 35 yards to Brittan Golden and 27 yards to Darius Slayton on a seven-play touchdown drive, a solid all-around showing for Eli Manning’s eventual replacement.
Manning led an opening 15-play series that ended in a field goal and included five plays that gained at least 9 yards. Manning was 4 of 8 for 41 yards. In three preseason games, Manning is 9 of 13 for 86 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.
Golden had a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Giants pulled away.
The Bengals distributed 34,887 tickets for the game, fewer than for the first home preseason game last year. They had the second-lowest home attendance in the league last season, part of the impetus to fire Marvin Lewis and bring in Taylor to try to stir fan interest.
The Bengals’ new offense under Taylor has struggled to find consistency. Andy Dalton played three series that ended with a couple of punts and a touchdown.
Dalton found tight end C.J. Uzomah down the right sideline — he beat safety Jabrill Peppers — for a 26-yard touchdown on his third and final series. Dalton was 7 of 10 for 104 yards behind a mix-and-match line. Andre Smith started at left tackle for Cordy Glenn, who missed practice this week, and moved to right tackle in the second quarter.
Rookie Ryan Finley finished the first half when Dalton left and was 14 of 20 for 155 yards with no interceptions and three sacks.