Nov 132011
 
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Giants Fall to 49ers: The New York Giants fell to the San Francisco 49ers 27-20 earlier today at Candlestick Park. The Giants are now 6-3, one game ahead of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East.

The Giants out-gained the 49ers in first downs (21 to 16), third-down efficiency (50% to 27%), total net yards (395 to 305), net yards rushing (93 to 77), net yards passing (302 to 228), and time of possession (34:37 to 25:23). But the Giants were only 1-of-4 in the red zone, lost the turnover battle (one interception by the 49ers and two by the Giants), and were out-played on special teams.

The Giants had four offensive possessions in the first half and largely wasted two promising drives by settling for short field goals. The first was a 14-play, 75 yard affair and the second was a 13-play, 73-yard drive. These two drives took almost 15 minutes – basically one full quarter – yet the Giants only had six points to show for it.

Meanwhile, the 49ers scored field goals on each of their first three drives of the game and held a 9-6 halftime advantage. One of the 49er drives was set up by a recovered onsides kick. Both the Giants and 49ers traded interceptions near the end of the first half, but neither turnover resulted in points.

The 49ers expanded their lead to 12-6 early in the third quarter after a 10-play, 70-yard drive. Both teams then went three-and-out.

On the Giants’ second possession of the second half, New York drove 84 yards in 10-plays and capped the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Mario Manningham. The Giants  led 13-12.

Late in the third quarter, both teams exchanged punts again after not being able to pick up a first down. However, P Steve Weatherford’s punt only traveled 29 yards and gave San Francisco the football at midfield. The 49ers went those 50 yards in only four plays, with QB Alex Smith passing to TE Vernon Davis for the 31-yard score on a blown coverage, and a 20-13 advantage after the 49ers also converted on the 2-point conversion.

Then came a killer turnover when on the second play of the ensuing drive, Manning was intercepted at the Giants’ 34-yard line. The ball was returned to the 17-yard line and on the very first snap after the turnover, rookie HB Kendall Hunter scored from 17 yards out. 49ers 27 – Giants 13.

The Giants did respond with a 7-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Manning to WR Hakeem Nicks. The score cut the lead to 27-20 with under nine minutes to play.

The Giants’ defense did force a three-and-out and with 6:35 to play, the Giants had one more possession to tie the game. Unfortunately, the closest New York could get was the 49er 10-yard line.  The Giants did convert a 4th-and-6 on the drive with an 18-yard pass to Manningham and a 4th-and-5 with a 10-yard pass to WR Victor Cruz. A few plays later, Manning found Cruz for an 8-yard gain, giving the Giants a 2nd-and-2 from the San Francisco 10-yard line. But an incomplete pass was followed up with no gain on a draw play. On 4th-and-2, Manning’s pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage and fell incomplete. The Giants turned the football over on downs with only 34 seconds to play. Ball game.

Highlights/lowlights of the game are available at NFL.com.

Injury Report: LB Michael Boley left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. CB Aaron Ross also suffered a bruised quad.

Post-Game Player Media Q&As: Video clips of post-game media Q&As with the following players are available at Giants.com:

  • HB D.J. Ware (Video)
  • FB/TE Bear Pascoe (Video)
  • WR Hakeem Nicks (Video)
  • WR Mario Manningham (Video)
  • WR Victor Cruz (Video)
  • LB Spencer Paysinger (Video)
  • CB Michael Coe (Video)

Post-Game Notes: Inactive for the Giants were WR Jerrel Jernigan (hip), HB Ahmad Bradshaw (foot), FB Henry Hynoski (neck), OG Mitch Petrus, OT James Brewer, DT Dwayne Hendricks, and CB Prince Amukamara (foot).

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Eric Kennedy

Founder and owner of BigBlueInteractive.com, which is now entering its 20th season. Follow Eric on Twitter @BigBlueInteract.

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