Bend but don’t break, that’s what the San Francisco defense did today against the New York Giants. While the defense did give up 20 points and 395 yards of total offense, when push came to shove, the defense dug in and stopped the Giants inside the red zone to end the game and send the Giants home with a loss. The Giants dropped to 6-3 on the season, and the 49ers improved to 8-1 on the season. San Francisco played most of the game without star running back Frank Gore, who left the game with a knee injury. The 49ers only gained 77 yards on the ground, but overall gained 305 yards of offense. The stat that really turned the favor for the 49ers is that the defense forced 2 turnovers, which left the team +1 for the game.
Alex Smith was relied on more today than he had been during most of the season, and he had a productive day going 19/30 for 242 yards, with a touchdown and an interception and an 87.5 QB rating. His counterpart, Eli Manning, was 26/40 for 311 yards and two touchdowns but also had two interceptions and a 84.5 QB rating. The top rusher for the 49ers was backup Kendall Hunter who rushed 6 times for 40 yards and a touchdown. Alex Smith added 6 rushes of his own for 27 yards. Brandon Jacobs led the attack for the Giants with 18 rushes for 55 yards, D.J. Ware added 9 rushes for 34 yards. Delanie Walker and Braylon Edwards led the 49ers passing game combining for 9 catches for 116 yards. Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham led the Giants attack, combining for 12 catches, for 161 yards, and Manningham had a touchdown.
Both defenses came to play, and came to show each other up. The Giants wanted to prove that they were the better defense, and as far as the amount of yards they gave up they were, but in the amount of stops each team made the 49ers came out on top with the two interceptions. Navarro Bowman led the 49ers with 15 combined tackles, 11 solos. Kenny Phillips led the Giants with 5 tackles, 4 solos. The giants had 2 sacks to the 49ers 1. Special Teams were big in this game, as David Akers was 4/4 on field goals, 1/1 on extra point tries. Lawrence Tynes was 2/2 on field goals, and 2/2 on extra point tries.
All in all the 49ers showed their true meddle and showed that they weren’t just Frank Gore. Alex Smith really stepped up his game in this contest, and showed a lot of poise in the pocket and led the team down field against a fired up Giants defense. The 49ers end their foray with the NFC East with a 3-1 record, and now head into the division games as they will play the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park.