Sunday at Candlestick Park the New York Giants did what they seemingly always do. The Giants walked into a hostile environment against a team they weren't supposed to beat, and did exactly that, routing the San Francisco 49ers, 26-3.
The Giants (4-2) not only won the game, they thoroughly dominated the 49ers (4-2) in a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 116 yards on 23 carries to lead the Giants' offense. On defense, the Giants intercepted San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith three times and sacked Smith and backup Colin Kaepernick six times. Antrel Rolle had two interceptions and Prince Amukamara one. Jason Pierre-Paul led the pass rush with two sacks.
The Giants ran only seven offensive plays in the first quarter and were fortunate to escape trailing only 3-0. San Francisco put together two long drives, but settled for field-goal tries on both. David Akers missed from 43 yards and made a 42-yarder.
From the beginning of the second quarter on, the Giants simply dominated.
A six-play, 67-yard drive ended with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz that gave the Giants a 7-3 lead with 10:04 left in the second quarter. The Giants never looked back.
A Lawrence Tynes' 34-yard field goal gave the Giants a 10-6 lead with 2:56 left in the half.
The Giants blew the game open, and seemed to break the 49ers' will, in the third third quarter.
A 66-yard kickoff return by David Wilson to open the second half set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Bradshaw. Interceptions by Rolle on the next two San Francisco possessions set up Tynes' field goals that left the Giants with a 23-3 lead after three quarters.
Tynes closed the scoring with a 32-yard field goal with 1:56 left.
Manning completed 15-of-28 on the day for 193 yards and one touchdown. He was never sacked by San Francisco, which sacked him six times and hit him 12 other times during last season's NFC title game.
Cruz had six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown, and Domenik Hixon had four catches for 78 yards.
The 49ers had outscored the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets by a combined score of 79-3 the past two weeks.
The Giants are now in sole possession of first place in the NFC East. The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both lost on Sunday. Dallas (2-3) lost to the Baltimore Ravens, 31-29, as Dan Bailey missed a 51-yard field goal with six seconds to play. The Eagles (3-3) lost to the Detroit Lions in overtime, 26-23.
The Giants host the 2-3 Washington Redskins next Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.