Week 9 Game Recap: New York Giants 24, San Francisco 49ers 6
What you need to know
Eli Manning and the Giants answered some important questions about their status as contenders. Manning won a game away from Giants’ Stadium for the first time in his young career. Likewise, for the first time this season, the Giants won away from their home confines. (The win against the Saints officially counts as a road game but we know it wasn’t.) Manning’s performance was uneven, but plenty good enough to overcome the 49ers, who were kept in check by the Giants’ defense.
The Giants scored on their first possession for the sixth time in eight games, but struggled on offense for most of the rest of the first half. New York’s defense was strong, holding the 49ers to nine first downs and 138 total yards.
The 49ers played hard and were able to remain close well into the game. In fact, San Francisco trailed only 3-0 until Jeremy Shockey caught a 32 yard touchdown pass with just 13 seconds remaining in the first half on a gutsy fourth and one call. After trailing 10-0 at halftime, Joe Nedney kicked two third quarter field goals to pull the 49ers to within four points. The Giants finally pulled away with a one yard touchdown run by Brandon Jacobs early in the fourth quarter. Jacobs would later add another short run to account for the final margin.
Cody Pickett became the fourth different 49er to start a game at quarterback this season. Though Pickett’s resolve was strong, his performance was not enough to overcome twelve 49ers’ penalties and a stout defensive effort by the Giants. San Francisco constantly faced second and third downs with long yardage to go. As a result, they could only muster nine first downs and never penetrated past the Giants’ 29 yard line.
No quarterback currently on the 49ers’ roster has thrown a touchdown pass this season.
What you ought to know
|QB Eli Manning, Pass: 18 - 33 - 251 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - -3 - 0|
Manning’s performances are erratic at times, yet his statistics usually turn out looking pretty good. More importantly, he gets the job done when the Giants need him. And, despite his inconsistency during the game, his end results have been pretty consistent. His touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey marked the ninth straight game in which Manning has thrown for at least one touchdown. He also turned an important corner in his career as he won for the first time away from Giants’ Stadium.
Though Manning’s final numbers look good, they could have been much better, or worse depending on which perspective you take. Many of Manning’s passes were less than accurate. He both overthrew and underthrew targets for much of the game. Furthermore, if it were not for some great catches by his receivers, he would have had a rough day. For example, though Jeremy Shockey was wide open after a fourth and one play fake, Manning overthrew him. If not for a fully extended diving touchdown catch by Shockey, Manning’s nine game touchdown streak might have ended.
|RB Tiki Barber, Rush: 21 - 71 - 0, Rec: 2 - 32 - 0 (3 targets)|
Barber found the yards much tougher to get against the 49ers than last week against the Redskins (career high 206 yards rushing). The first half was particularly tough for Barber; he had 11 carries for 23 yards and a long run of six yards. Barber had a better second half with ten carries for 48 yards. His long run went for 14 yards. Barber caught a screen pass and gained 19 yards. His other reception went for 13 yards over the middle.
Jacobs had five short yardage carries: He gained three yards on fourth and one, lost two yards on another fourth and one, was stuffed for no gain on a third and one, and added two fourth quarter touchdown runs. The 49ers’ defense was able to penetrate leaving Jacobs with little chance on his two unsuccessful carries. Jacobs was also credited with a special teams tackle on a kickoff return.
Ward came in to relieve Tiki Barber late in the game and had three consecutive carries. He lost one yard on his first attempt. His next carry went for 12 yards on third and eleven. After his eleven yard gain, the Giants were able to run out the clock.
Finn, the Giants’ fullback, did not carry the football. However, he was active in the passing game. Finn caught a swing pass and gained three yards before he was blindsided by a helmet to helmet hit. His lights went out and the ball came loose, but Giant offensive lineman Chris Snee recovered the football. Finn later was able to return to the game. He was open on a pass play into the end zone from the San Francisco one yard line, but Eli Manning overthrew the pass. Finn laid himself out for the ball and appeared to make a great catch, but officials ruled it incomplete. Later, Finn bailed Manning out on a pass thrown well behind him and gained seven yards.
Burress led the Giants in catches and receiving yardage. The highlight of his game was a one-handed, juggling catch down the right sideline that gained 50 yards. He also had a 22 yard catch called back on a holding penalty. Burress was targeted in the end zone twice on New York’s opening drive.
Toomer had only three catches on his eight targets. His final (and longest) catch was for 23 yards. Toomer almost made the end zone; he was ruled down at the one yard line, setting up the Giants’ final touchdown. Toomer had a 30 yard reception called back by a holding penalty. He was overthrown by Manning in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
Carter had one catch for twelve yards on a third down and five play.
All of Shockey’s receptions came in the first half. He had a 28 yard catch on the Giants’ first play of the game. His 32 yard touchdown catch was a beautiful diving grab that came on a fourth and one play late in the second quarter on a ball that was overthrown by Eli Manning. Shockey frequently lined up in the slot and even lined up out wide a couple of times.
Berton, a backup tight end, caught one short pass.
Shiancoe was open on what would have been a big gain (and possible touchdown) on the Giants’ opening drive, but Eli Manning overthrew the pass, just off of Shiancoe’s fully outstretched fingertips.
Feely kicked a short 22 yard field goal on the Giants’ opening drive. He added three extra points.
The Giants’ run defense was strong throughout the entire game. The 49ers gained only 52 yards on 22 attempts (2.4 average). The longest San Francisco run was by Frank Gore, who had a 22 yard gain around the left end. Kevan Barlow was held to four yards on ten carries.
Reggie Torbor had eight tackles and an assist. Linebacker, Nick Greisen, left the game with an injury to his ribs, but was able to return.
The Giants’ pass defense was excellent. The Giants sacked 49ers’ quarterback Cody Pickett three times and had him under pressure throughout the game. Pickett passed for only 102 yards and averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per attempt. Antonio Pierce, Gibril Wilson, and Osi Umenyiora each had sacks. Brent Alexander had an interception that set up New York’s first touchdown.
|QB Cody Pickett, Pass: 12 - 21 - 102 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 15 - 0|
Pickett became the fourth quarterback to start a game for the 49ers this season. He found himself under pressure frequently during his first NFL start. Pickett showed the ability to scramble and buy time, but the deepest he was able to lead the San Francisco offense was the Giants’ 29 yard line. San Francisco took advantage of Pickett’s mobility and called a couple of running plays for him, notably a fourth and two draw that netted four yards. Pickett threw one interception. On a play he where he was trying to create something while running for his life, he forced the ball into coverage. At times, Pickett looked lost when under heavy pressure, but he only made one big mistake (the interception).
|RB Kevan Barlow, Rush: 10 - 4 - 0, Rec: 6 - 41 - 0 (6 targets)|
Barlow had ten carries for a whopping four yards. His long gain went for three yards. The San Francisco offensive line did not create much room for Barlow to run. Barlow did better in the passing attack. He caught all six of his targets. They consisted of short passes and screens, usually on third and long. Barlow ran hard and was able to turn two of the passes into good gains, just short of first downs.
|RB Frank Gore, Rush: 7 - 33 - 0, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (1 targets)|
Gore ended up being San Francisco’s leading rusher with 33 yards. 22 of them came on a fake reverse pitch play. Gore’s remaining six carries totaled 11 yards.
Fullback, Chris Hetherington, had one reception for minimal gain.
Battle played for the first time in over a month and had catches of ten and seven yards. His knee did not appear to bother him.
Veteran, Morton caught the 49ers’ longest play of the game on his only target.
Though he was San Francisco’s most targeted wide receiver, Lloyd had only one reception on a pass that was thrown well behind him. Lloyd was Pickett’s targeted receiver of choice when the 49ers tried to stretch the field. He had 32 yard one-handed, highlight reel catch (to the Giants’ two yard line) called back by penalty.
Special teamer, Marshall, who was a college quarterback, tried to fool the Giants by shifting out of punt position and lining up under center in an attempt to draw the defense off side. The ploy was unsuccessful. It would not be surprising to see Marshall run a trick play or two later this season.
Smith dropped a perfectly thrown Pickett pass that would have resulted in a big gain down the middle of the Giants defense.
Nedney accounted for San Francisco’s only six points and showed that he still has a strong leg with field goals of 48 and 52 yards. Nedney missed what would have been a 47 yard attempt, but the play was blown dead for a false start penalty. He made good on his second chance, nailing the 52 yarder.
The 49ers’ run defense had a good performance. The Giants gained only 24 first half rushing yards and frequently were forced to try to gain yardage through air. The Giants were held to 93 ground yards for the game and 23 of those came on the last two non-kneel down plays. The defense was able to stuff Giants’ running back Brandon Jacobs twice on key short yardage plays. Jacobs did have two rushing touchdowns, but both came from the one yard line. The San Francisco defense deserves credit for keeping the 49ers in the game into the fourth quarter.
The 49ers’ pass defense did not give up many big plays, but did not create any for themselves. Eli Manning was not sacked and did not throw any interceptions. Manning often had plenty of time to throw. He ended up with 251 passing yards and one touchdown, but it could have been worse, if Manning had been more accurate. Shawntae Spencer had eight tackles and an assist. Tony Parrish dropped a sure interception.