I thought about renaming this weekly segment for this past week New York Giants vs San Francisco 49ers: Four Great Quarters, but I'll settle for five key plays.
1. Prince Amukamara intercepts Alex Smith in the first possession of the second quarter
In the 49ers' first two possessions they were able to move the ball very well and keep the Giants; offense off the field. Prior to the Amukamara interception the 49ers had the ball for roughly 10 of the first 15 minutes of the game and were starting another drive. The 49ers had a chance to really begin to wear down the Giants' defense before the game really started, but Smith tried to make a big play and instead found the rapidly improving Amukamara. After the interception the Giants would complete a huge play down the field to Domenik Hixon and put their first points on the board.
2. Hixon makes a huge play down the field to lead the Giants to their first score
Play 1 and play 2 go hand-in-hand, but were big plays in terms of ending the 49ers momentum. Prior to these two plays the 49ers had dominated the time of possession and looked to be winning the physical battle. Plus, the Hixon catch was just very exciting to watch.
Also, I would like to officially apologize for writing Hixon off prior to the season. I didn't think the Giants needed him at wide receiver, I was wrong. I'll eat this crow. I have no problem telling you when I was wrong about something (but only because I'll also have no problem tooting my horn. Like here when I told you David Wilson was the running back you wanted in the draft. Though I undersold him).
3. David Wilson is amazing
My man crush for David Wilson is growing by the week. He just looks like he is playing at a different speed than the rest of the team. The play I'm specifically thinking here is the 66-yard kickoff return to start the second half which led to another Giants' score. That was after Wilson had a 44-yard return negated by a Jacquian Williams penalty. This kid is electric. He can catch the ball better than he's shown, too, and I can't wait until he gets a chance to make an impact in the screen game. I should stop chatting about Wilson, I'm drooling on my keyboard.
4. Antrel Rolle intercepts Alex Smith on back-to-back 49ers possessions
I know it's early, but so far this looks like this could be the best first three rounds of a draft that the Giants have had under Jerry Reese -- and the reason for that is Jayron Hosley. This guy is terrific. The Giants have favored big, athletic cornerbacks, which has left them vulnerable in the slot where Antrel Rolle has spent too much of his time, but Hosley is different. Super competitive and athletic. Hosley fits the slot position very well.
The selection of Hosley has let Rolle play more of a safety who can come up and play the run, but also ball hawk in the back end and hopefully these two interceptions are just the beginning from Rolle this year.
5. 9:06 left to go in the fourth quarter Giants hand the ball off to Ahmad Bradshaw for 13 yards
The following plays: 11-yard run by Bradshaw, 11-yard run by David Wilson, 4-yard run by David Wilson, 4-yard run by David Wilson, 20-yard run by David Wilson, 3-yard run by Bradshaw, 5-yard run by Bradshaw, no-yard run by Bradshaw, -3 yard run by Wilson, 4-yard run by Wilson, -5 yard run by Wilson. Field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
7:10 taken off the clock. This is man's football. Welcome back, Giants fans have missed it. Game over.
This was an impressive performance from the Giants and any number of plays could be highlighted, but these five were key to me. Let me know in the comments what your five plays were, and then we'll start moving onto the next opponent, the Washington Robert Griffins, err, Redskins.
The question now is, with everyone likely picking the Giants this upcoming weekend against the Washington Redskins, will they be able to compete with the same intensity to start putting some distance between themselves and the rest of the NFC East?