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New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers: Plays That Changed The Game

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A single series decided the Giants' fate. As usual, it was an emotional roller coaster.

That about sums it up
That about sums it up
Al Bello

This looked like a game that neither the New York Giants nor the San Francisco 49ers wanted to win.

The Giants defense played their best game in weeks, but turnovers and mental errors by the offense kept the Giants from capitalizing on any plays made by their defense or -- amazingly -- their special teams.

ODB Does It Again

Despite the Giants general offensive ineptitude, Odell Beckham Jr. somehow produced a SportsCenter worthy play to get the Giants down to the 49ers 4-yard line.

With 5:12 to go in the fourth quarter, the Giants were at the San Francisco 41-yard line. It was second-and-10 and Eli Manning had just had an incomplete pass intended for Beckham. Instead of playing it safe, and playing for a 1st down or at least a manageable third down, Eli launched the ball down the right sideline.

Beckham was matched up on Perrish Cox in man coverage. Cox had good coverage, but he was simply out-leaped by the rookie receiver. The result was this:

Beckham Catch

Cox did his best, but Eli put the ball where only his receiver could get it, and Odell Beckham did Odell Beckham things and not only attacked the ball at it's highest point, but tipped the ball to himself. His concentration was outstanding as he controlled the ball and managed to come down with the ball in-bounds.

Giants Can't Capitalize

Despite Beckham's almost unbelievable catch, the Giants still couldn't get home. This isn't a single play, but rather a series of plays.

Even with four turnovers and a horrendous game by Eli Manning, the Giants Beckham's catch put them in position to win the game. Ben McAdoo then dialed up three straight fade routes. This, in and of itself is not unusual. The fade route is the Giants' go-to weapon when in Goal-To-Go situations. And usually, they win those routes.

This time, they didn't.

The first fade was to Odell Beckham on the right, who was well covered, and couldn't get enough separation to go up and get the ball.

The second fade was to Rueben Randle, however the ball was overthrown, and Randle couldn't get a hand on it.

The third and final fade went to the left again, this time to Larry Donnell, who was split out wide. Donnell was able to get the ball at its highest point, but couldn't hang on to the ball as he came down.

The Giants elected to go for it on fourth down, but Eli's final pass bounced off of Preston Parker and directly to Chris Borland for Eli's fifth and final interception.

Final Thoughts

I was tempted to put Pugh's injury on this list. While he wasn't playing particularly well, Charlie Brown was a liability who was routinely beat by rookie Aaron Lynch. Between the play of John Jerry (who not once, but twice tackled his own teammates), and Charles Brown, I'm once again forced to wonder why Brandon Mosley not only isn't starting, but is a healthy scratch, as is James Brewer, who proved to be a good option in pre-season as a backup tackle.

This was an agonizing game to watch. Nobody seemed to want to win the game, but somebody had to. The defense contained San Francisco, and put the offense in position to win the game. Odell Beckham did his best, with several fantastic catches and the Giants' best punt return in recent memory, to give the offense a spark. They just could not get it done.

The Giants need to get it together quickly, because they face the Dallas Cowboys in a week.