NFC East: J.T. O\'Sullivan

Newman's playing

November, 23, 2008
Posted by's Matt Mosley

Cowboys Pro Bowl cornerback Terence Newman, who'd been questionable with an injured groin, will start against the 49ers. Newman came out early and didn't have any problems changing directions and making sharp cuts.

He'll start opposite of Anthony Henry and rookie Orlando Scandrick will play the nickel. The one change to keep your eye on for the 49ers is Chilo Rachal possibly starting for right guard Tony Wragge.

In addition to firing head coach Mike Nolan last month, the 49ers dismissed offensive line coach George Warhop. Mike Singletary quickly made the switch to Shaun Hill at quarterback. Hill does a much better job than J.T. O'Sullivan of getting the ball away. If the switch had happened earlier, Warhop would probably still have a job.

Rapid Reaction: Giants 29, 49ers 17

October, 19, 2008

Posted by's Matt Mosley

The Giants looked sloppy on offense for the second consecutive game, but the defense bailed them out this week.

Replacing Antonio Pierce at linebacker, Chase Blackburn had the best game of his four-year career. He had 10 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in Sunday's 29-17 win.

On Monday night, the Browns muted the Giants' pass rush, but 49ers quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan was under siege from the start. Defensive end Justin Tuck had two sacks and two forced fumbles.

The Giants won the turnover battle, and that was the difference. Tom Coughlin will be upset about a special teams breakdown on a blocked field goal attempt that was returned for a touchdown in the second half.

But it was the defense's ability to eliminate Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore that made the 49ers one-dimensional.

Eli Manning was 16-of-31 for 161 yards and a touchdown. He never got in a rhythm, but he didn't make the back-breaking mistakes that occurred against the Browns.

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was held to 69 yards, but he found the end zone twice.

And for the first time this season, the Giants gave Ahmad Bradshaw some meaningful carries. New York continues to get the most of its running backs. Derrick Ward had three catches for 50 yards.

Giants safety Michael Johnson had the first two interceptions of his career. O'Sullivan was running for his life most of the game, and four different defensive linemen had sacks for the Giants.