The New York Giants had a golden opportunity to show last week’s second-half resurgence against the Chicago Bears wasn’t a fluke.
Instead, Joe Judge’s young Giants team, hosting an injury-depleted San Francisco 49ers squad, couldn’t do anything right as the 49ers piled on three touchdowns in the second half to finish burying the Giants, who had no answer to counter what was being done to them.
How bad was it? The 49ers, missing just about every starting offensive skill player, got two touchdowns from backup running back Jeff Wilson Jr, one of the ground and one via the pass.
Undrafted free-agent quarterback Nick Mullens, playing for the injured and inactive Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), put up a first-round caliber performance, completing 25 of 36 pass attempts for 343 yards and a touchdown for an impressive 108.9 rating.
By contrast, Daniel Jones, the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, countered with a 17 of 32 for 179 and one interception day, a 56.6 rating, Jones and the offense failing to get into the red zone all day.
The Giants running game? Well, it wasn’t very effective with Saquon Barkley in the lineup, and that didn’t change this week without him. Jones finished as the team’s leading rusher with 49 yards on five carries and a long of 23 while Devonta Freeman, Wayne Gallman, and Dion Lewis combined for 17 yards on10 carries as the 49ers dominated the time of possession battle, 39:44 to 20:16.
And what about that young Giants offensive line? They gave up six hits, two of which were sacks while failing to get any inside push on a critical 4-and-1int he third quarter that set the 49ers up deep in Giants territory.
The Giants defense? No matter if it was third-and-short or third-and-long, Patrick Graham’s group had no answers to stop the 49ers on third down, allowing eight of 12 attempts (67%) to be converted (by contracts, the Giants went four of 10, 40% on third down).
In retrospect, the Giants were in trouble when they battled to a 6-6 tie early into the second quarter with the 49ers in what looked like it would be a contest between field goal kickers. At half time, the 49ers were up 16-6, but even at that point, there was still hope until the Giants once again let it all slip away to an undermanned 49ers team.
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Look up “dominating” in the dictionary, and you might find the 49ers logo next to the word, and with good reason. San Francisco had nine offensive possessions in this game and scored on seven of them. They might have made it eight, but kicker Robbie Gould missed a field goal attempt in the first half. It doesn’t get any more dominating than that, folks.
The Giants? They continue to be their own worst enemy. Besides giving up six points off turnovers and seven points off a change of possession when the Giants couldn’t convert on fourth down, New York never made it into the red zone once all day. This was also the first week since a Week 15 loss to the Titans back in 2018 that the Giants failed to score a touchdown.
Ooops, He Did It Again
Another week, another lost fumble by Daniel Jones, though on this one, a case could be made that tight end Evan Engram, who was involved in the play, was equally at fault.
The play happened on the Giants first drive of the game. On a first and ten from their 487, the Giants tried a little trickery where Jones pitched the ball to tight end Evan Engram on an end-around.
Jones was bumped into by tight end Kaden Smith, and his pitch looked to be behind Engram. Again, Engram could have probably secured it, but the timing of the play was compromised.
Dion Jordan recovered the ball, and 12 plays later, the 49ers were up 6-0 on Robbie Gould’s 32-yard field goal.
That lost fumble was Jones’ second lost one of the season and his 17 of his career.
The Injuries Continue
Safety and punt returner Jabrill Peppers was shaken up on the 49ers 52-yard field goal in the first quarter after it appeared that he stepped on another player’s foot. Peppers had his ankle looked at on the sideline and then was declared out of the game.