New York Giants Week 6 Report Card
New York Giants Beat San Francisco 49ers
The New York Giants trounced the San Francisco 49ers 26-3 in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. There was plenty of hype heading into the game with Tom Coughlin complaining that nobody ever gave the Giants the respect the deserved because everyone picked the 49ers and plenty of talking heads saying Coughlin was overreacting before they picked the 49ers to win.
The Giants have made somewhat of a trademark of being the underdog, beating everyone they are expected to lose to and then having trouble with teams they should easily beat. There is no doubt the Giants are a good football team. You don’t win 2 Super Bowls in 5 years and not be a good team. However, if they have to go out and prove it week after week then so be it.
Early in the game the Giants defense was bending but held the 49ers to two field goal attempts after not breaking. One of those field goal attempts was missed by the normally automatic David Akers.
In customary fashion, the Giants struck back with Domenik Hixon making two excellent catches and ending with Victor Cruz hauling in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning giving the Giants a 7-3 lead and the Giants never looked back.
The Giants looked like they were running on all cylinders and the 49ers just didn’t have the horsepower to keep up.
Here is the Giants report card for their Week 6 win for the running game, passing game, run defense, pass defense, and special teams.
Ahmad Bradshaw was coming off of a 200-yard rushing game against the Cleveland Browns and was facing a tough 49ers defense who had allowed only one one-hundred-yard game in the previous 43 games. Now, there have been 2 in 44 games. The running game took a while to develop but offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride refused to abandon the run and it eventually worked in his favor, especially once the passing game started clicking. Bradshaw ended the afternoon with 27 rushes for 116 yards and 1 TD. David Wilson also had a few good runs in the fourth quarter and might finally be emerging from Tom Coughlin’s doghouse as he went for 35 yards on 7 rushes including a 20-yard run. The Giants rushing attack looks lit might finally have jelled. Grade: A
Eli Manning had only 193 yards through the air, snapping his streak of 24 straight games with at least 200 yards passing, the second longest streak in NFL history. Hakeem Nicks came back after missing the last three weeks with a swollen knee. He was clearly not 100 percent as he lacked the explosiveness that we have grown accustomed to seeing but he still managed 3 catches for 44 yards. Domenik Hixon led the Giants in receiving with 4 catches for 78 yards. The pass protection was excellent as Eli didn’t get sacked once and despite a few hurries and hits had plenty of time. There just weren’t many reasons for the Giants to air it out. Grade: A-
Frank Gore was a non-factor all game long and aside from one good run on the opening drive for 15 yards, Kendall Hunter was also limited. Gore ended with 36 yards and Hunter with 26. As a team, the 49ers managed just 80 yards on the ground as the Giants were able to penetrate and stop the run before it gained any momentum. The best effort of the year by far. Grade: A+
Antrel Rolle with his two interceptions on consecutive drives will get all the attention but Prince Amukamara had 6 tackles, an interception, and 3 passes defensed. Alex Smith, who entered the game with only 1 interception all year after throwing only 5 last season. He left today’s game with 3 picks and a 43.1 rating, going 19 of 30 for 200 yards, 55 of which came on one play to Randy Moss. The Giants pass rush finally showed up, recording six sacks. Jason Pierre-Paul, who entered the game with 1.5 sacks all season, had two. Even Justin Tuck recorded his first QB hit of the year as the Giants kept Smith moving all day. Grade: A+
Lawrence Tynes had a field goal blocked but was otherwise his normal accurate self hitting his other four. Steve Weatherford had a typical Steve Weatherford day, booming 4 punts and nailing 2 inside the 20 yard line. David Wilson continues to impress returning kicks, nearly breaking one for a touchdown that went for 66 yards while his other return went for 27 yards. The Giants might have finally found their return man for the time being. The 49ers struggled to get anything going on any of their returns and often started inside their 20 thanks to adept coverage on kickoffs. Grade: A