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Martellus Bennett is surrounded by reporters, answering question after question about the poor play of Eli Manning, with little changing but the adjectives phrased to the Giants tight end.

Bennett isn’t asked about his dropped pass or the touchdown he would have had, had he kept both feet in bounds, in Sunday’s 31-13 loss at Cincinnati. But he knows he bears responsibility for the questions that have risen about his quarterback and reminded everyone that Manning isn’t the only one under-performing.

“If he makes a throw, he’s having a tough game, you can’t drop it,” Bennett said this week. “Sometimes we have to make plays for him. It’s not just on him. It’s on everybody. It starts with me. I got to make more plays for him and do different things for him to make things easier for him. I just got to get better for him.”

The season couldn’t have started better for the first-year starter, after four seasons in Dallas. Bennett had three touchdowns and 185 yards in the first three games, but has 226 yards and no touchdowns in the past seven.

With Hakeem Nicks playing at less than 100 percent and no consistent third wide-receiver threat having emerged, tight ends coach Michael Pope said he thinks teams have made a concerted effort to limit Bennett’s impact.

“He’s not less of a target than he has been,” Pope said. “After that first month, people started playing him with much tighter coverage, battering him as he’s coming off the line of scrimmage and made his job harder. He has to play a lot harder against that type of coverage. It’s the player’s and the coaching staff’s responsibility to do whatever we can to try and continue to keep him as a weapon.” Read more...