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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The New York Giants defeated the Bengals for their third straight win but lost Daniel Jones in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury. 

It may have been ugly, but the New York Giants (4-7) picked up their third consecutive victory on Sunday as they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1).

With the 19-17 win, the Giants earned their 700th regular-season win and now stand in first place in the NFC East. They have the tiebreaker over the Washington Football Team (4-7) after sweeping the season series.

Many expected the Giants to come away with an easy win since the Bengals were starting Brandon Allen at quarterback in the wake of Joe Burrow’s ACL injury last week. But in the NFL, winning games is seldom easy.

However, the Giants made the opening possession of the game look easy. It only took them nine plays to travel 76 yards, culminating in a Wayne Gallman one-yard touchdown run on fourth and goal to take a 7-0 lead. The biggest play of the drive was a Daniel Jones 53-yard completion to Evan Engram.

Big Blue’s lead did not last long. Brandon Wilson set a Bengals franchise record with a 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to tie the game at seven.

Following the kickoff return for a touchdown, the two defenses took control of the game, forcing punts on the next four possessions.

The Giants had the opportunity to recapture the lead midway through the second quarter, but Engram fumbled after catching a pass at the Bengals 15-yard line. The Bengals would convert the fumble recovery into a 44-yard field goal by Randy Bullock.

The Giants would answer back on their next possession on a Graham Gano 49-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining in the first half to tie the game at 10.

After forcing the Bengals to punt on the opening drive of the second half, Jones and the offense took possession of the ball at their own six-yard line. Unfortunately for Jones, he wouldn’t be able to finish the drive.

On the fifth play of the possession, Jones ran up the middle for seven yards to the Bengals’ 21-yard line but was favoring his hamstring. He tried to gut it out and stay in before he was replaced by Colt McCoy. The drive ended with Gano kicking a 40-yard field goal to put the Giants back in front 13-10.

Jones attempted to return on the Giants’ next possession, but after one throw it was clear that his day was done. Gano would later kick two more field goals off of two more Bengals turnovers.

The Bengals wouldn’t score again until Allen connected with rookie wide receiver Tee Higgins on a one-yard touchdown with 2:33 remaining in the game to cut the Giants lead to 19-17.

The Giants were unable to run out the clock as they went three and out. To make matters worse, the Giants allowed Erickson to return the punt 21 yards to the 50 yard-line.

But the Giants defense closed out the Bengals on their first play as Jabaal Sheard sacked Allen and forced a fumble that was recovered by Leonard Williams to seal the win.

This was another example of the Giants making plays when it matters most and why they are in first place in the division.

At this time, the Giants haven’t disclosed the extent of Jones’ hamstring injury, but with or without Jones, the Giants have a tough matchup next week as they travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks.