Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Giants Team Grades: Week 6 vs. San Francisco 49ers

Sunday, October 14, 2012
Final Score: New York Giants: 26 San Francisco 49ers: 3
Giants Team Grades

The Giants headed into San Francisco with no one giving them a chance and left with many people believing that they might be the best team in the NFL.  The Giants went into Candlestick Park and destroyed the 49ers in every facet of the game, leading to a dominating 26-3 victory.  The Giants came into the game prepared and ready to go, evident by how every unit of the squad was clicking on all cylinders.
Passing Offense Grade: A

Eli Manning did not put up otherworldly stats, but it wasn’t necessary on this afternoon.  Manning completed 15 of 28 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown.  What was important was that Manning did not turn the ball over at all.  The offensive line was also able to keep Manning clean and upright, as the 49ers were unable to register a sack against the Giants quarterback.
Hakeem Nicks returned for the first time since week 2 and was visibly limited.  He did not have the burst or speed he normally has, but gutted it out.  Nicks even made an impressive catch along the sidelines in the second quarter, making the catch despite a pass interference call.

Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz again were the biggest beneficiaries in the receiving game.  Hixon made receptions of 39 and 16 yards on the Giants first touchdown drive, putting the Giants in position for Manning to hit Cruz with an eight yard pass for the touchdown. Hixon ended the game with 78 yards receiving on four receptions and Cruz finished with 58 yards on six receptions.

Rushing Offense Grade: A+
Ahmad Bradshaw continued his role as the bell cow for the Giants running game and he responded in a big way against one of the top defenses in the NFL.  Bradshaw ran for 116 yards and a touchdown against a 49ers defense that just does not allow 100 yard rushers.  Only Marshawn Lynch has ran for 100 yards or more against the 49ers in their last 44 games, making this week’s feat more impressive in the minds of many people than his career high 200 yard rushing game against the Browns the week prior.
The offensive line dominated at the point of attack, opening up big holes for Bradshaw to gash the 49ers defense.  David Diehl made his return this week and made the most of his return as an extra blocker as head coach Tom Coughlin opted to keep Sean Locklear and Will Beatty at the tackles.
David Wilson also saw an expanded role in the offense and made the most of the opportunity.  Wilson had seven rush attempts for 35 yards, ripping off a 20 yard back-breaking run in the fourth quarter to help put away the 49ers.

Pass Defense Grade: A+
The Giants were able to get into the head of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, throwing him off his game and causing numerous mistakes made as the Giants intercepted Smith three times.  Antrel Rolle had two of those interceptions and Prince Amukamara had the other. 
The pass rush, which had been non-existent all season, finally showed up as the Giants totaled six sacks for the game.  Jason Pierre-Paul led the onslaught with two sacks.  Mathias Kiwanuka, who also tallied a sack, was played up front more and less at linebacker, a trend that may continue with the success the Giants had against the 49ers.

Rush Defense Grade: A
The mission of the Giants defense was to shut down the running game of the 49ers and make them a passing team. The 49ers are the top rushing team in the NFL, averaging 178.6 yards per game, so the task is easier said than done.
The Giants made it looked much easier than it actually was, as the defense shut down 49ers running back Frank Gore, holding him to only 30 rushing yards and allowing 80 total rushing yards.
This was an area that was important for the Giants to dominate because with no run game, the 49ers became one-dimensional and easy to pick apart.  It also allowed the Giants to dominate the time of possession, enabling to have Manning and the offense on the field while the defense rested up.
Special Teams Grade: A-

Lawrence Tynes had one of his field goal attempts blocked, but knocked his other four attempts through the uprights, giving Tynes a very solid 17 field goals made out of 19, with his only misses being the block in this game and the 54 yarder missed against the Eagles.

Wilson continued his strong performance as the kick returner, ripping off a 66-yard return right after halftime to put the Giants in position to add to their lead right out of the break and crush the spirits of the 49ers. 
The Giants coverage teams were great also, as they held the electric and dangerous Ted Ginn to only 22 punt return yards.
Coaching Grade: A+
Tom Coughlin did it once again; getting his team up for a big game against an elite opponent.  Coughlin set the tone from after the Browns game, saying that no one gave the Giants a real chance of going into San Francisco and beating the 49ers.
The coordinators, Perry Fewell on defense and Kevin Gilbride on offense, also deserve a lot of credit.  Fewell made the necessary adjustments to spark a pass rush that had been dormant the whole season before Sunday and Gilbride stuck to the game plan even faced with going against a defense as imposing as the 49ers.
This was the epitome of a team win, as every unit was clicking on all cylinders and the Giants parlayed that into a steamrolling of one of the top teams in the NFL.

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