For parts of the game on Thursday night, the New York Giants hung tough with the San Francisco 49ers, hanging within a score in the second half. As the game progressed, though, it was apparent that the Giants were simply outmanned. The deficiencies on the Giants’ roster and their multiple injured starters were too much for them to overcome against one of the kings of the NFC. That resulted in a 30-12 defeat against San Francisco, dropping New York to 1-2.
Head coach Brian Daboll gave credit to the 49ers after the game.
“That’s a heck of a team,” he said. “Usually comes down to making plays when you have an opportunity to make plays, and they did a good job.”
No money on money down
The Giants’ biggest defensive issue for much of the game was their inability to hold on third down. The 49ers had 10 third-downs in the first half, including six of 8+ yards. They converted seven, the most back-breaking of which were two on their first touchdown drive.
After Jamie Gillan turned field position with a 60-yard punt from deep in Giants territory, San Francisco faced a third-and-15 from their own 23. A screen pass to Deebo Samuel gained 30 yards and kickstarted the scoring drive, which included another big screen to Christian McCaffrey to convert a third-and-13. To put a bow on the drive, Brock Purdy’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Ronnie Bell came on third-and-goal.
San Francisco also converted a third-and-12 on their next touchdown drive, helped out by a Leonard Williams roughing the passer penalty.
The pattern continued on the 49ers’ second drive of the second half when two defensive penalties on third down allowed the march to continue. The Giants eventually held on third-and-goal to force a field goal, but some of the damage was already done.
“I’d say both sides, third down was huge, it was a contributing factor to [what] must have been double the time of possession,” Daboll said. “When you’re not converting third downs and you’re giving up some third downs, there’s time of possession, the defense gets tired, we’re not out on the field offensively enough, it’s a collective thing.”
The Giants’ run defense did not put forth a great effort, allowing 4.7 yards per carry and a walk-in touchdown to Christian McCaffrey. However, it was the greater issue of their tackling that hurt them throughout the game. McCaffrey carried tacklers on play after play, as did Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. Of Samuel’s 129 receiving yards, 78 came after the catch. Daboll refused to attribute that to a lack of practice time, though: “No excuses.”
Penalties also did the Giants no good, as they had six for 37 yards, including several back-breakers on defense.
- Daniel Jones: 22-for-31, 137 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks, 64.2 passer rating; 2 rushes, 5 yards
- Matt Breida: 4 rushes, 17 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 targets, 3 receptions, 1 yard
- Darren Waller: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 20 yards, 1 drop; 1 DPI, 22 yards
- Wan’Dale Robinson: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 21 yards
- Parris Campbell: 6 targets, 6 receptions, 24 yards
- Darius Slayton: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 32 yards
- Gary Brightwell: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 31 yards
For the second time in three weeks, the Giants got out to a good start on their first drive, only to struggle afterward. They gained 49 yards on 12 plays and scored a field goal on that drive but managed just 101 yards and nine points from that point forward. The Giants couldn’t gain any big plays, and their pass protection couldn’t hold up enough for them to march downfield methodically.
“We called a fair amount of [shots downfield] with all of our guys,” he said. “It was a delicate balance with their defensive line with how many guys you keep in to help out the protection to make sure you can get off more vertical routes vs. getting it out quicker. Just give that team a lot of credit. They’re a really good football team.”
Defensively, Micah McFadden made several impact plays and had 10 total tackles (nine solo), including four for loss.
Brock Purdy had a strong night, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns with a 111.3 quarterback rating. Samuel had 129 receiving yards and a touchdown, and Kittle added seven grabs for 90 yards.
The Giants scored a touchdown to pull within one score on Matt Breida’s 8-yard run. He burst through the hole and then ground out the last couple of yards. This was the only real highlight of the game.
CB Deonte Banks left the game before halftime with an unspecified arm injury and did not return. That moved Adoree’ Jackson outside, Tre Hawkins to the left side of the field, and Darnay Holmes into the slot.
Defensive lineman Rakeem Nuñez-Roches left near the end of the third quarter with an injury but returned shortly thereafter. On the next play, fellow DT D.J. Davidson also went down with an elbow injury.
- RB Saquon Barkley (ankle)
- LT Andrew Thomas (hamstring)
- OLB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring)
- LG Ben Bredeson (concussion)
- CB Cor’Dale Flott
- S Gervarrius Owens
- DT Jordon Riley
After an 11-day layoff, the Giants (1-2) head home on Monday, Oct. 2 for another primetime matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. The game is at MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football at 8:15 p.m. ET.