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Giants-49ers “Kudos & Wet Willies” review

Let’s look at who deserves praise and who doesn’t after Monday’s victory

New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It’s a happy recap for a change the day after the New York Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers 27-23 on Monday Night Football. Let’s get right to the traditional “Kudos & Wet Willies” review.


Kudos to ...

Eli Manning — With 2:46 left and the Giants trailing 23-20, Manning needed to drive the Giants 75 yards for a game-winning score. He did. Really, that’s all that mattered.

Yes, he couldn’t quite get the ball out far enough on deep shot to an open Odell Beckham Jr. that could have been a 77-yard touchdown. Yes, he only completed 19 passes for 188 yards. Yes, you wonder why he handed off to Saquon Barkley instead of throwing to an uncovered Beckham on a third-and-goal right before halftime.

Manning, though, made the throws he needed to make. He also looked comfortable all night behind an offensive line that protected him well. He navigated the pocket beautifully on his first touchdown pass, a 10-yarder to Beckham.

This was more like what the Giants envisioned from Manning and the Giants offense when the season began.

How many more these will there be for Manning? Who knows. Give him credit for this one, though.

Offensive line — The once-again revamped line, with Jamon Brown at right guard, played its best game of the season. Manning was sacked only once and hit only four times in 32 drop backs. Brown wasn’t perfect, but he threw a great block to allow Manning to step up and deliver his first touchdown pass. Spencer Pulley saved the quarterback an interception with a great hustle play to pull a deflected pass away from a 49ers defender. Saquon Barkley averaged only 3.4 yards per carry, but there weren’t breakdowns leading to negative plays.

Saquon Barkley — With 67 rushing yards on a season-high 20 carries and 33 receiving yards Barkley hit the 100-yard mark for the eighth time in nine games.

Odell Beckham Jr. — Only had four receptions in 11 targets, but had two touchdown catches. That’s his first multi-touchdown game of the season. Beckham would have had a third, a 77-yarder, if Manning could have gotten the ball out a couple of yards farther on a fourth-quarter deep ball that ended up incomplete.

Corey Coleman — After the 2015 first-round pick had been traded by the Cleveland Browns, cut by the Buffalo Bills and then cut twice by the New England Patriots the Giants took a chance on Coleman’s speed and talent. Monday, he made that look like a good idea.

Coleman had kickoff returns of 51 and 43 yards, the second halved by a holding penalty. He also had an 11-yard catch on a second quarter third-and-9 that helped the Giants earn a field goal.

B.J. Goodson — Goodson was in the right place at the right time and had good enough hands to snag a pair of interceptions off deflections Monday night. The first put the Giants at the San Francisco 12-yard line and set up a touchdown. The second, on the opening play of the fourth quarter, stopped a 49ers drive with San Francisco leading 20-17. Goodson added six tackles, one for loss.

Lorenzo Carter — During the game, Pat Traina tweeted “More Lorenzo Carter, please.” Precisely. The rookie edge defender had seven tackle, three of which were for losses and two of which were on back-to-back plays. He was good in coverage and had a quarterback hit (for which he ended getting a roughing the passer penalty — basically for hitting Nick Mullens too hard). Carter was still on the field for only 33 snaps, or 45 percent of the defensive plays. More Lorenzo Carter. Please.

Wet Willies to ...

Landon Collins — Rough night for the Giants’ safety. They seemed to think matching Collins against San Francisco tight end George Kittle was a good idea. It wasn’t. Kittle ended up with nine receptions in 10 targets for 83 yards. Not all of those came against Collins, but many of them did. Collins led the Giants with nine tackles, but this is one of those cases where the tackle number is not a good thing. Collins had that many tackles because the 49ers were picking on him.

Field conditions — We saw Barkley slip on at least three occasions. Beckham slipped near the goal line on a play that should probably have been a touchdown but went for an incompletion. San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens slipped and fell while rolling out to throw. It’s not important when you think about the real problems California faces right now, but the field wasn’t good.

Curtis Riley — Can’t. Tackle. Stepped into the hole on a 3-yard touchdown run by Matt Breida of the 49ers and got run through like he was a piece of paper. Between that and his weekly dose of bad angles coming downhill it’s just hard to watch.

Alec Ogletree — When the 49ers weren’t picking on Collins in coverage, they were doing that to Ogletree. He’s a leader, and a pretty good run defender/blitzer. He just isn’t very good in coverage, and opponents know it. Ogletree also had two penaltie. He had a second-quarter defensive holding that helped the 49ers get a field goal right before halftime and a third-quarter unnecessary roughness penalty gave San Francisco a first down at the Giants’ 41-yard line. Goodson came up with his second interception two snaps later.

Pass rush — The Giants really didn’t have one. They didn’t sack Mullens and hit him only three times in 39 drop backs.