The New York Giants walked into San Francisco feeling disrespected and underestimated and they made sure to remind the San Francisco 49ers, as well as the rest of the league for that matter, who the defending Super Bowl champions are and what they are capable of. Ahmad Bradshaw was phenomenal for a second straight game, and the Giants defense played their best game of the season as New York absolutely dominated San Francisco for a 26-3 win that puts them at 4-2 on the year and in sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Key to Victory: Defensive focus, intensity, and consistency
What an outstanding, outstanding performance put together by this Giants defense across the board. The pass rush looked a lot more intense and a lot more determined than we've seen them through the first five games of the season and that was matched with a lot of strong individual play in the secondary. Most importantly against an offense like the one the 49ers run, the Giants did an excellent job tackling underneath and taking good angles to the football, limiting yards after the catch on those quick throws, screens, and plays out of the wildcat type formation.
- Nothing was more encouraging in this game than what we saw from the New York Giants pass rush. When the defensive linemen are getting after it, this team is extremely difficult to beat. Jason Pierre-Paul was all over the place, Mathias Kiwanuka and Osi Umenyiora flashed, and Alex Smith had less and less time to throw the football as the game went on – which is something we saw during the Giants late season and postseason run last year.
- The next thing to note was the play of the offensive line. Clearly this group came into the game excited about the Giants gameplan – which was to play smashmouth football and run the ball right at the San Francisco defense early and show them that they were ready for a physical football game as well as make them well aware of the fact that they were going to have to defend both the run and pass in this game. The offensive front wall protected Eli very well in this one, and as the game went on imposed their will on arguably the best defensive front seven in the game.
- Plus three in the turnover battle with no turnovers offensively. That's what great football teams do. With all the talent the Giants have, this is what is going to happen in games in which they don't shoot themselves in the foot. Even against teams like San Francisco, New York's ceiling is at the point where they can dominate top six and seven football teams in this league when they aren't costing themselves points and field positions with mistakes.
- Moving to the man who created two of those takeaways, last year – Antrel Rolle showed his unselfishness, playing out of position, at several positions for this Giants defense with injuries and inconsistency plaguing the defense. Covering the slot, dropping down and playing as a linebacker in the box, back at safety – you name it he was there. In this game, Antrel was locked in from the start, showing aggression, intensity, and rewarding himself with two interceptions in the second half that really swung the momentum in this game. Fun to watch him playing this level of football, he deserves time at the forefront with the way he's played through injury and sacrificed for this football team.
- Give it up for Prince Amukamara. After a lot of injury issues and growing pains, he's slowly starting to lock in here. He had an outstanding game against Philadelphia and he's playing very physical, excited football and seems a lot more comfortable and confident in himself as of late. Seeing a lot of growth with him the past few weeks.
- Toughness. The toughness of Hakeem Nicks to start. To go out there on a bad ankle, bad knee, maybe at 60-70%, still make some big catches, still give it his all in a big game for his team – don't think for one second that that didn't light a fire under this football team. And of course Ahmad Bradshaw, who ran with purpose as usual and bruised this 49ers front seven for over 100 yards – something you rarely, rarely see. Outstanding persistence from Bradshaw.
- A sign of a defense on the same page is the ability to take away an offense's biggest weapon. It takes communication, it takes discipline, attention to detail, and constant focus. The Giants shut down Vernon Davis on Sunday and it was something we talked about in the game preview as something they really needed to do to get the upper hand defensively in this game. Well they did it, and then some.
- Anybody out there still wondering if Victor Cruz is the real deal? Anyone? Good.
- David Wilson is electric. We talked about it when the Giants drafted him – he was going to bring a new element to this football team – the homerun threat out of the backfield. Well he's also bringing it on kick returns. And if the Giants become a top field position team thanks to the first round pick, with this offense, look out.
- Great performance from Linval Joseph on the defensive line. The Giants have been looking for someone to step up in their defensive front and he definitely did that in this game as the 49ers really had trouble keeping him from being disruptive against both the run and pass.
- Steve Weatherford has been a regular in this portion of the game review. Another very strong game punting the football and putting the Giants defense in good spots.
- Trading touchdowns for field goals in the red zone. Would have been nice to see the Giants punch it in there off Antrel's interceptions.
PLAYER OF THE GAME - S Antrel Rolle
You saw it right from the start from Antrel when he absolutely hammered Kendall Hunter and sent him tumbling out of bounds after a big run – he was locked in and ready to be a beast in this football game. Rolle was active, he was focused, and he played angry – and it was a disaster for the 49ers offense. One of the best games we've seen #26 play since joining Big Blue.
OVERALL PERFORMANCE GRADE
Even after their incredible postseason run last year, this might be the most complete game I've seen from the Giants in a very long time against an elite football team. They went out there and manhandled one of the best teams in football in their home stadium. There's no other way to put it, and really not much more to talk about. Impressive is an understatement.
- Be sure to like Giants 101 on Facebook, follow Giants 101 on Twitter & +1 Giants 101 on Google+
- Check out the latest line of GMENShirts, including the new pink version which supports the fight against Breast Cancer
- Listen to Gameface with The Frattman every Sunday morning at 9 AM EST on 940 ESPN Radio
Related VideosReturning Soon!!!!
No related posts.
Short URL: http://sport-ne.ws/lng