Report card: Straight A's
Eli Manning didn't post out-of-this-world stats with 193 yards passing and one touchdown. But the passing game was outstanding as Manning didn't turn the ball over. The offensive line was terrific in not allowing a single sack. Manning was officially hit just once and when the Giants had to move the ball, Manning hit Domenik Hixon on plays of 39 and 16 yards before finding Victor Cruz in the end zone to score the first touchdown and let the Niners know the Giants were here to win. The Giants did settle for four field goals so the red zone efficiency can improve.
Ahmad Bradshaw didn't rush for 200 yards like he did last week but his 116 yards and one touchdown on the Niners may have been a bigger feat. Bradshaw joins Marshawn Lynch as the only running backs to crack 100 yards on the Niners in 44 games. The offensive line was superb and dominated the Niners in the fourth quarter as Bradshaw gained 56 yards in the final quarter. The Giants had a 13-play drive that ate up 7:10 in the fourth to finish the game.
The Giants rattled Alex Smith and forced three interceptions out of the normally mistake-free quarterback. Antrel Rolle had two of the interceptions early in the third to set up two Giants' field goals. Prince Amukamara also had a pick. The pass rush returned with six sacks. LB/DE Mathias Kiwanuka (one sack) played up front more and Adrian Tracy also saw action and got a sack. The secondary gave up one big play to Randy Moss for 55 yards.
The mission was to stop Frank Gore and make the Niners have to pass. Mission accomplished as the Giants held Gore to 36 yards rushing and the Niners to a total of 80 yards on the ground. This was crucial because it allowed the Giants to win time of possession and the pass rush to attack Alex Smith.
The Giants had a field goal blocked which is never good. But Lawrence Tynes made four field goals and David Wilson continued to be a force, sparking the Giants' dominant second half with a 66-yard return to open the third quarter that helped the Giants score a touchdown to go up 17-3. Numerous Giants pointed to that return as a key play in the game. The dangerous Ted Ginn also only had 22 yards on two punt returns.
Tom Coughlin set the tone for the week by stating that nobody gave the Giants a chance to win. Perry Fewell made the necessary adjustments to spark his pass rush, shut down Frank Gore and force Alex Smith into rare mistakes. Kevin Gilbride stuck with the run until the Giants pounded the Niners' defense into submission in the fourth. The Giants were balanced and had all three units in sync to not only pull off the upset but completely dominate San Francisco. Major kudos to the coaching staff.