SAN FRANCISCO -- After the abundant criticism the Giants' defensive line endured for the lack of pressure on the quarterback this year, defensive Osi Umeniyora seemed casual about the unit's dominating performance against the 49ers.
When brought to his attention that the Giants sacked 49ers quarterbacks six times, Umeniyora, quipped, "Was it six? I don't even know."
It was six, and the Giants' superlative play on the defensive line caught the attention of their quarterback, Eli Manning.
"They played outstanding, flying around," Manning said. "When you see them play like that, hold the team to field goals, then we can be patient offensively. We don't have to force things."
The Giants might have surprised the 49ers by sending waves of pass rushers after quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Typically, the Giants employ the same four of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Umeniyora and Mathias Kiwanuka.
In this game, Marvin Austin and Adrian Tracy got cracks at rushing the passer with Kiwanuka reprising his role as a defensive end. Kiwanuka has spent his career bouncing between outside linebacker and defensive end, and pass-rushing end suited him well Sunday.
"It is fun being out there with those guys, I am not going to lie," said Kiwanuka, who registered a sack for a 14-yard loss.
Asked if he would now be part of the pass-rushing package he said, "I think that is a question above my pay grade."