The New York Giants could not possibly beat the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. It couldn't be done. The 49ers were going to come in hungry, angry and electric after the Giants "stole" their championship season a year ago. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk said the game would be over by halftime. 11 of 12 ESPN "experts" picked the 49ers. All NFL Network "experts" picked the Giants and all FOX Sports analysis, save for Michael Strahan, went with the home team.
Reminder: The Giants do not like to be told what they can't do, and Sunday was no different. Not only did they roll into San Francisco and weather an early storm, they made the proper adjustments and went on to absolutely dominate a team many called the "best in the league."
Savor it, fans. It was a sweet 26-3 victory for Big Blue.
- Antrel Rolle – Rolle came to play. From the opening kickoff on, Rolle was playing at 100 mph. He was crushing people early in the game, playing well against the run, blowing up the wildcat and he added two huge interceptions. Save for one blown assignment as the deep man overtop of Randy Moss, it may have been his best overall game as a member of the Giants.
- Ahmad Bradshaw – Although Bradshaw's numbers aren't going to pop off the box score as they did last week, he was in grind mode for 60 minutes and had hell of a game. He wore a tough 49ers defensive line down and started ripping off big runs in the second half. He said to expect the unexpected, and he delivered on that statement.
- Victor Cruz – Carlos Rogers is no match for Cruz. He can not stop him. And it's amazing how much better he is when Hakeem Nicks is also on the field.
- Domenik Hixon – Hixon is healthy again and displaying the value he brings to the team. He had at least three clutch acrobatic catches to keep drives moving. And he played well on Special Teams.
- Jason Pierre-Paul – JPP had two sacks this afternoon, which was more than his total coming into the game (1 1/2).
- David Wilson – He's the real deal, folks. And now he's got his confidence. Oh, and he's an extremely dangerous kick returner, too.
- Eli Manning – And Kurt Warner said before the game that the 49ers had an advantage at quarterback with Alex Smith? Right. That was funny then and even funnier now.
- Henry Hynoski – Often overlooked, Hynoski has become one of the best fullbacks in the NFL.
- Offensive line - A+ job all around. Opened great holes, didn't miss an assignments, kept Manning on his feet. A superb job.
- Defensive line – Although they're going to catch heat for not putting more pressure on Alex Smith early in the game, the d-line played quite well on Sunday. They were a force against the run, kept contain and were disruptive on a number of plays. In addition to JPP, Mathias Kiwanuka landed a big sack that forced a punt. Linval Joseph and Adrian Tracy each snagged one for themselves. They can and will continue to improve, and this was a big step in that direction.
- Redzone Offense – Although somewhat successful in the first half, the Giants failed to put the 49ers away twice in the second half after key interceptions. They allowed the team to hang around … and sometimes that comes back to bite you. It didn't today, but it may some other time.
- Referees – Yes, they are leaps and bounds better than the replacements, but allowing Eli to take a lot hit early in the game -one that led to a large gash- is not going to be looked upon positively. They also missed several blatant holds on Special Teams.
- Injuries – Jacquian Williams left the game with a calf injury and would not return. Cruz also suffered a knee injury, but returned to the game. Finally, Justin Tuck left the game late in the 4th quarter with an undisclosed injury.
- Spencer Paysinger – Paysinger was solid defensively, and that's all you could really ask of the youngster. Unfortunately, he had a few mental lapses in coverage, including one in the first quarter that led to an earful courtesy of Corey Webster.
- Prince Amukamara – Overall, he had a very solid day. However, he gave up a few big passes and dropped an easy interception. But, he also managed to lock down Rnady Moss and others, and came away with an earlier interception off of Alex Smith. He was far more on the positive side than the negative side, and he's beginning to earn a lot of trust.
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