Offensive line takes the fight to 49ers

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
12:33
AM ET
SAN FRANCISCO -- No team has run on the 49ers' ferocious front seven like the Giants did in their 26-3 flattening of their cross-country rival.

Well, at least not since Nov. 11, 2009, when Titans running back Chris Johnson crested the 100-yard rushing mark.

[+] EnlargeAhmad Bradshaw
AP Photo/Don FeriaAhmad Bradshaw takes to the air for a TD leap while Kevin Boothe (77) and Henry Hynoski (45) hold the Niners at bay.
Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries, which broke the Niners' string of preventing a 100-yard rusher for 22 straight home games. Bradshaw did his best work at the end of the game, headlining a 13-play, seven-minute drive that sealed the win for the Giants.

"That's what you want to be able to do," quarterback Eli Manning said. "That's when the offensive line just takes over the game. Keep running it, wear down the defense, take seven or eight minutes off the clock and truly end the game. That's what we need to be able to do in those circumstances."

This offensive-line performance came on the heels of the Kevin Gilbride-Jim Harbaugh imbroglio this week, in which Gilbride said that 49ers defensive end Justin Smith gets away "with murder" by holding defensive linemen. Harbaugh responded with a statement saying Gilbride's comment was "incendiary," "absurd" and "outrageous."

The Giants' offensive line responded with simple dominance against what's considered the best front seven in the NFL.

"Most people against this defense didn’t think we could do what we did," said center David Baas, who started his career in San Francisco. "That's fine. That doesn't matter. This team knows what we can do.

"I think it sends a message to everybody in the NFC that, you know, don’t count us out because we’re a very, very good team and we believe that. So we’re going to use that momentum going forward and our confidence is high."

The road-grading performance by the offensive line in the run game allowed Manning time to find receivers. The last time Manning was in Candlestick, during the NFC title game last year, the 49ers sacked him six times and unofficially, hit 20 times total. In this game, Manning was barely touched and not sacked.

"We just kept fighting. If there's anybody I want to fight with, it's these guys," Bradshaw said of his linemen.

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