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Monday, October 15, 2012
Five plays that shaped the game

By Kevin Lynch

SAN FRANCISCO -- Here are the five key plays from the New York Giants' 26-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday:

1. David Wilson's 66-yard kickoff return for the Giants. The 49ers had designs on coming back in the second half. San Francisco trailed only 10-3 at the time, but rookie Wilson broke off a 66-yard return to get the Giants to the 49ers' 32-yard line. The subsequent touchdown vaulted the Giants to a two-touchdown lead.

2. Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul stops Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers were ready to punctuate their opening drive with a touchdown, and they were looking for Kaepernick, Mr. Instant Offense, to help them do it. But on third-and-6, as Kaepernick tried to sweep around end, he was stopped cold by Pierre Paul and linebacker Chase Blackburn. Then 49ers kicker David Akers missed a 43-yard field goal, and the tone was set.

3. Giants S Antrel Rolle intercepts 49ers QB Alex Smith. Down only two touchdowns in the third quarter, the 49ers were poised to rally. Smith, who played the best game of his eight-year career just one week earlier, looked to WR Mario Manningham (the former Giants receiver) and overthrew him. Rolle made a one-handed stab of a pass thrown behind him to set up the Giants for another field goal.

4. Rolle does it again. The 49ers were down only three scores in the third quarter, when Smith again went back to pass and looked for WR Michael Crabtree over the middle. Rolle stayed deep to make it look like he was playing a three-deep zone, but at the last second he broke to cover Crabtree in the middle of the field. He stepped in front of Crabtree for his second interception in three Smith passes.

5. Wilson sinks 49ers. Up 23-3 in the fourth quarter, the Giants embarked on a game-sealing, 13-play drive that ate up seven minutes and 10 seconds. The centerpiece of the drive, in which QB Eli Manning never passed, was a 20-yard bolt by Wilson on third-and-2. Ballgame.