Giants vs. Bengals -- Week 10

Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio (turf, outdoors)

When: Sunday, 1 p.m. ET (FOX)

Spread: Giants by 4.5

Forecast: Temperatures expected in high 60s with no precipitation.

Records: Bengals (Overall: 3-5, AFC North: 1-3); Giants (Overall: 6-3, NFC East 2-2)

Past results: Two most recent regular-season meetings: Dec. 26, 2004: Bengals 23, Giants 22; Sept. 21, 2008: Giants 26, Bengals 23 (OT). Series record: Bengals lead 5-3.

What matters: The tipping point has been reached in Cincinnati. If this team holds any hope of making a postseason run, they must beat the Giants. From there, optimism could grow with winnable games against Kansas City and Oakland to follow. This four-game losing streak hovers over Cincinnati right now, though, and without a win against the Giants a freefall resembling the 10-game losing streak that marked the disaster of 2010 seems plausible.

Who matters: QB Andy Dalton. The Giants defense ranks in the bottom quarter of the NFL in almost all major defensive yardage categories. New York stands 6-3 in spite of those numbers because they lead the NFL in percentage of passes intercepted. They've picked off 16 passes with 350 return yards. Enter Dalton. He's thrown at least one pick in every game this season. The dreadful Chiefs are the only other team with an interception in every game.

Not only that, all 11 of Dalton's interceptions originated on his own side of the field. Those led to 53 of the Bengals 218 total points allowed (24 percent). If Dalton can finally complete a clean game at quarterback, the Bengals have a chance.

Key matchups: C Trevor Robinson vs. Giants interior pass rush. The undrafted free agent Robinson tweaked a hamstring against Denver and veteran Jeff Faine, already nursing a hamstring injury of his own, entered and struggled mightily. The task grows this week with the Giants front four sure to test the exposed center position. Giants interior linemen Chris Canty and Linval Joseph combined for five sacks this season, but don't be surprised to see Osi Umenyiora or Justin Tuck stunting underneath to create a mismatch on the center.

Injuries of note: The Bengals will likely be without S Reggie Nelson (hamstring, doubtful). In his absence expect versatile DB Nate Clements to slide in at safety with Chris Crocker next to him … First-round pick CB Dre Kirkpatrick (thigh) emerged on the injury report one week after making his NFL debut. This ailment isn't associated with the knee injury that held him out the first eight weeks, but he's listed as questionable. It won't be a major setback, Kirkpatrick is primarily relegated to special teams for now.

“We'll be all right (in the secondary),” Lewis said. “We've got a surplus.”

Inside stuff: If any cornerback could enjoy success against Eli Manning it would be Terence Newman. He's picked Manning off four times in his career with Dallas and comes off two interceptions of his brother, Peyton, last week.

He imparted his knowledge of Manning to the other defensive backs this week in hopes of adding a slight advantage.

“He’s a guy that’s going to give his receivers a chance,” Newman said. “So, sometimes you’re in the right place at the right time. Obviously the ball’s going to come your way, you just have to make a play. But his receivers are great. They’re good at making plays, going up and getting the ball. You just have to battle those guys for the football, and sometimes you come away with it.”

Connections: Former Bengals first-round pick LB Keith Rivers, traded to the Giants this offseason, will make his return to Cincinnati. Though, as was the case during much of his career with the Bengals, Rivers playing time has been limited due to injury.

Stat you should know: Dalton ranks 32nd in the NFL in third-down passer rating (57.6). Only Arizona's John Skelton owns a worse number.

Dalton on third down: 30 of 67 (44.8 percent) for 473 yards, four touchdowns and five interceptions.

Bulletin board quote: A.J. Green's quote on WFAN-New York which was blown into a mini-NY firestorm when asked if Green is salivating over the weak spot in the Giants defense:

"I feel like they got a lot of holes in their defense ...”

Marvin Lewis jumped to the defense of his WR who has never experienced a controversial moment in his career:

“He didn't have a controversial moment,” Lewis said. “It was a leading question. It's no big deal.”

Looking ahead: If the Bengals could find some way to upset the Super Bowl champions all hope will not be lost on the season. With winnable games against Kansas City and Oakland on the horizon, returning to above .500 would be realistic.

Prediction: Giants 24, Bengals 20

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter @CBSBengals.