What a total and complete team win for the Giants against a tough opponent. Get ready for a lot of superlatives, because the Giants and their coaches deserve every single one of them.
1) The Run game
2) The OL in run blocking
3) The Passing game
4) The OL in pass protection
5) Run defense
6) Pass defense, shutting down Vernon Davis
7) Pass Rush w lots of pressure and 5 sacks before garbage time sack
8) 3 Interceptions from Rolle(2) and Amukamara
8a) Amukamara's INT broke a lot of offensive momentum from the Niners
9) Cool and Calm Eli Manning, even better on the road than at home
10) Ahmad Bradshaw running for over 100 yards (116) vs a tough SF run defense
11) Domenik Hixon making some big catches to get the offense going
12) David Wilson in kickoff returns
13) Blitz pickup/pass protection of Bradshaw
14) DISCIPLINE of only 2 penalties
15) DISCIPLINE of ZERO turnovers
16) Resiliency- After SF had ball control for 11.5 out of the first 13 minutes, the Giants answered w nearly a 2:1 time of possession edge the rest of the way
17) Batted balls by JPP, others
18) Lawrence Tynes is quietly becoming consistent
19) ALL THIS WITHOUT NICKS HEALTHY!
Okay, let's get a couple of negatives out of the way so that we know the Giants can still improve and get better- (1) Osi on run defense still does not take care of the edge (2) Gilbride still had trouble in the red zone (2 for 5 before end of game)- use the TE there. There were other blemishes too, like Pascoe not blocking the edge at the end of H1 on a blocked FG. Or a wide open Manningham open on a bomb behind the defense which is not thrown well enough by Smith. And when David Wilson can fly on Kickoffs, your other 10 guys cannot hold because those errors nullify HUGE returns.
Gilbride gets credit for breaking open the offense by starting to pass more, which ended up setting up the run, and then more effectiveness with play action thereafter. I have no idea what Coughlin and Flaherty did with the OL, but they got those guys to make holes and hold their blocks vs a good DL.
Postgame anecdote... Antrel Rolle got the second INT pick because Ahmad Bradshaw yelled to him from the sidelines that Alex Smith was reading (looking off) him. So Rolle mixed it up, played the fade and let Smith go 'the other way' so that he could make the INT.
Small things I like- (a) More seasoning for Prince- he is still inconsistent and on a learning curve, but every snap this guy gets gets him ready for the playoffs, when we will really need him against better QBs and better WRs. (b) mentally tough road wins- the Giants have won 3 of their 4 Super Bowl titles by winning playoff games on the road... every team they face knows the Giants are a tough (tougher?!!!) road team. (c) the Giants are #3 in the NFL in Kickoff returns.
Big things I like - The Eagles and Cowboys cheesed it in Q4 losses this afternoon! The Giants are in 1st place in the Division, coming into the Washington home game next weekend.
Enjoy this big road win vs the Niners, ladies and gents. It really does not get much better than this, because it tells us that the Giants can play with anyone in the league when they come in with focus and play 4 Quarters.