49ers dominate Giants in 30-12 victory; Five burning questions answered.

The San Francisco 49ers beat the New York Giants 30-12 on Thursday Night Football at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara to move to 3-0 on the season.

It was a dominating effort that saw the 49ers hold the ball for 39:10 seconds. San Francisco racked up 441 yards to just 150 for New York while also picking up 26 first downs compared to just 10. In addition, the 49ers scored at least 30 points for the sixth consecutive regular season game, the longest streak in franchise history.

Here are the answers to the five burning questions I asked before the game.

1 Will the 49ers defense be able to contain Daniel Jones? YES

San Francisco figured out their mobile quarterback problem. Apart from the first New York possession, the 49ers defense did a good job of not letting Jones get free or find receivers down the field once he felt pressure.

The 49ers held Jones to just five rushing yards on two attempts. They used sticky coverage to take away his receivers down the field. Jones finished with just 129 yards on 18 of 27 passing.

2 Will Brock Purdy continue to roll? YES

Purdy ran his regular season undefeated streak to eight games and threw for over 300 yards for the first time this season.

It was a bit of a rough start to the game for Purdy who was off the mark on several early throws. However, after hitting just three of eight on the first possession, Kyle Shanahan dialed things back a bit and Purdy began to get into a rhythm.

Purdy’s two touchdown throws were as good as it gets.

On the 49ers third possession of the game facing third and five at the Giants nine, Purdy beat a Giants blitz with a strike to rookie receiver Ronnie Bell for a touchdown. Late in the second half Purdy took a deep shot down the right sideline to Deebo Samuel, hitting the receiver for a 27-yard touchdown. After missing on a few deep shots Sunday against Los Angeles this was a step in the right direction.

3 Will the 49ers keep Darren Waller out of the endzone? YES

Isaiah Oliver was terrific in this game. The veteran nickelback was matched up with Waller throughout the night. He held the tight end to three catches on six targets and just 20 yards.

On one play in the third quarter Oliver lined up tight on Waller, jammed the tight end and the line of scrimmage and ran with him down the right sideline to force an incompletion.

The 49ers pass rush played its part in stopping the Giants passing game. Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave each recorded a sack on Daniel Jones, and the defensive line pressured Jones repeatedly throughout the night.

4 Will Christian McCaffrey rush for over 100 yards for the third straight week? NO

For the first time this season Christian McCaffrey was held under 100 yards rushing. Coming up short had more to do with Kyle Shanahan limiting him to 18 carries though.

McCaffrey was strong in the first half when he picked up 61 yards on just ten carries. He would get just eight attempts after halftime and finish the night with 85 yards on 18 carries.

The running back did get into the San Francisco record books. McCaffrey’s 353 rushing yards are the most by a 49ers running back in the first three weeks of a season. He passed Garrison Hearst in grand style, scoring from four yards out to give the 49ers a 17-3 lead in the second quarter.

5 Will Brandon Aiyuk play? NO

The 49ers made the decision prior to the game to hold Brandon Aiyuk and Ambry Thomas out of the game.

Without Aiyuk, the 49ers offense had a hard time finding its way early on. Aiyuk is one of the best receivers in the league at beating man coverage, and the Giants were using a lot of press coverage behind their blitzes.

Kyle Shanahan chose to use a good amount of two tight end sets early on to offset Aiyuk not being available. As the game went along the 49ers began to insert more three wide receiver sets, often having Jauan Jennings line up tight to the formation. This helped to open the defense up and create opportunities in the passing and running game.


49ers 31 Giants 13

This article has 27 Comments

  1. It wasn’t purdy at times but it was a solid win.
    Hope that the D holds up as well against stronger teams

  2. Jack, your prediction was almost perfect. This was a hard fought game and now the Niners get extra days of rest. The Niners look awfully good against a tough defense and our defense was great as always.

    1. The best part of playing the Cardinals in week 4 is that we play the Cowboys next and those two teams play each other this weekend. That almost gives the coaching staff a head start on prepping for the Cowboys by prepping for the Cardinals next week. Kill two birds with one stone, and have extra days to prepare.

      Btw on a totally different note- how is it we score exactly 30 points every game?

    1. Gav,
      I was thinking the same thing. Purdy didn’t have just one good deep shot but two. The pass to CMC was a great pass.

  3. I thought Bell played well. If you’re gong to win it all you need everyone to step up. Was disappointed on another marginal call on Greenlaw again. Just my $.02.

    1. I was more disappointed that Greenlaw keeps making these bonehead plays. Seriously the guy was wrapped up, there was no need to take him (and his own player) out like a freight train hitting a Fiat.

      And I’m not sure what’s bugging Trent Williams from time to time. Seems there are one or two games every year where he loses his cool. I’m not sure what the NFL will say about that punch he threw but I’m surprised he wasn’t ejected for that.

      Otherwise, good game all around.

      1. If the ref blew the whistle to stop the play, then yes it was an uncalled for hit. If the play was still live, I don’t get the flag.

        1. The whistle was clearly blown. It was more that he decided to go full throttle and take a shot even though he could have easily let up when he heard that whistle. No way he missed it as we could hear it clearly on the telecast. He could learn a thing or two from Warner.

  4. Game 3 grades
    QB B BP threw a couple good deep balls and was pressured often but he threw 2 balls that should have been intercepted.
    RBs A CMC his normal great game. Mitchell looked very good. Mason in a couple of carries looked like last year. I would love to see alot of Mason against the Cardinals.
    WR A Deebo great Bell and Jennings made some important receptions.
    TE A Kittle was outstanding
    OL C+/B- Too much pressure on Purdy and too many runs that ended up in losses.
    DL A Good pressure on Jones and Dominant against the run
    LB A this grade is for Warner the other LBs weren’t on the field too much. Greenlaw needs to stop getting personal fouls. I was watching the game with a group so I didn’t see Greenlaws PF live but in replay it looked like a good hit to me. Had the whistle blown?
    DB A They played great as a group
    ST A+ Wishnowski is the best punter in football and so far Moody is excellent, Coverage and return teams are outstanding
    KS A+ Another great game
    Wilkes A+ He switched things around going with a 5 man front and tight man coverage. I was questioning him last week but if his D can repeat this performance This could be a great season

    1. OC
      “QB B BP threw a couple good deep balls and was pressured often but he threw 2 balls that should have been intercepted.” I would agree with your assessment OC, BUT 2 things to keep in mind….. A) Purdy missed Aiyuk, who’s been his # one WR. And B…Purdy was blitzed on 84.6% of his drop backs. NY brought pressure on 33 of Purdy’s 39 drop backs, which was the highest rate since Next Gen Stats began tracking. While the pressure did bother him, he didn’t panic and he learned to
      adjust. As a young QB, that is one more test he’s passed!

      * I would add that with Aiyuk out, Bell got a chance to show the 9er coaches that he can deliver when given a
      chance…..I expect to see him get more playing time.

      1. Geep,
        Sounds like a B to me. He doesn’t throw the 2 balls that should be intercepted I would have given him an A/A-

      2. Another item that may need to be given attention, is has DCords mapped out a blueprint to press Purdy in the pocket?

        The NYGs defense seemed to prioritize keeping Purdy in the pocket. Last year Brock had good success moving out of the pocket to make plays.
        The Giants defense secured the edges last night (for the better part of the game) and made Purdy throw some passes off target.
        As I said last night, to Purdy’s credit, he was still very effective, but I believe that it might be interesting to see if opposing DCords take notice of NYGs defense going forward.

        1. AES
          The 9ers offense big test will be if Dallas DC Dan Quinn’s game plan is successful attacking Purdy?
          A) IMO, the key will be can the 9ers run against Dallas D and keep moving the chains?
          B) Can the 9er O-Line protect Purdy and give him time to get the ball to his receivers?

          1. GEEP,
            Good points. The C’boys game is going to be the biggest test no doubt. If the 49ers cannot establish a run game against the Boy’s, Parsons could feed off Purdy all game.
            The cowboys offense is much more potent than what Pittsburgh had, which was why the 49ers were able to overcome TJ Watt’s 3 sacks.

            I’m looking forward to this game because both teams will be playing legitimate SB material teams. This will be a statement game for either team.

  5. I always say it takes 4-6 weeks before an NFL teams identity begins to form. During that 4-6 weeks teams just need to hold on and win so when they hit their stride they can really perform well. This team has a 2019 vibe but the real strength is on the offense. Super stars all over the place. Offense is top 5 in points per game. Purdy is top 5 in QB Rating. Defense is #2 in points per game. Competition so far hasn’t been top teams in the league and that’s a good thing. Pittsburgh and the Rams seem to be mid-tier teams and the Giants are playing like one of the worst teams in the league but they do have talent so that will probably change. Getting these teams early is a blessing. It’s like Georgia playing UT Martin in week 1 instead of playing Alabama in week 1. Several areas of concern have emerged to begin the season which is also why playing these teams early is good – so you can address those issues. After last nights game, I think you have to have a little concern about Brock Purdy. Overall his ability to read a defense and make the right decisions is incredible for a young player. His diagnostic skills are simply amazing. He did throw several interception worthy balls but his teammates bailed him out. He needs to clean that up. But the real concern as I see it is his arm strength. Something just seems off. Doesn’t show up all the time but he occasionally throws the ball 5 yards behind the receiver or on longer throws the ball floats too much. Not sure if I’m the only one noticing this but he really does appear to have lost some arm strength. With that type of injury and surgery it seems totally unpredictable how Purdy will progress. Will he continue to lose arm strength as that medical sleeve on his Ulnar ligament stretches out over time or will his arm strength actually improve. I am reminded of Andrew Luck trying to come back from that shoulder injury. Once he had that injury his arm strength never came back and then continued to progressively get worse. Hopefully, Purdy continues performing at this level and that arm strength improves.

    1. 1.6 Pat
      * Purdy has never had a strong arm. Looking back, pre injury VS post injury, his arm strength appears to be the same. IMO, the issue has been his accuracy.
      * Against the Rams, Purdy had 3 chances to hit a deep throw for a TD, all 3 fell incomplete. One of them, a deep throw to Deebo Samuel, resulted in a pass interference penalty in the end zone. Purdy scored a couple plays later with a quarterback sneak as time expired in the first half.
      On the previous possession, Purdy had Brandon Aiyuk deep down the right sideline, but his throw was LONG. Purdy was sacked on the next play to force a punt.

      * Late in the 2nd half against the NY Giants, Purdy took a deep shot down the right sideline to Deebo and he connected with his receiver for a 27-yard TD. After missing on deep shots against LAR, IMO, this was a step in the right direction. The completion was due to his improved accuracy. He didn’t OVERTHROW his receiver.

      1. I agree Purdy has never had a strong arm but he looks like he’s lost a lot on his rotation and velocity to me. If a QB can play with great anticipation they can overcome a lack of arm strength but it helps alot to be able to put some zip on the ball. Distance is not a great indicator of arm strength. I can throw a football 40 or 50 yards. You probably can too. But if either one of us tried to throw a 7 yard out in the NFL it would be a pick six 9 out of 10 times because we don’t have the arm strength to put enough velocity over that distance.

        1. 1.6 Pat
          While I don’t disagree with your assessment, after looking for examples of Purdy’s throwing (this season), I can’t find (during the first 3 games) that he’s lost a lot on his rotation and velocity? Could you point out a couple of examples?
          BTW: Arm strength was never my problem. Like Kaepernick, I could throw a 7 – 10 yard out with velocity…. but it rarely went to my receiver! Probably why the coaches wouldn’t let me play QB?

          1. There’s a bunch of passes to point to but I’ll go with Q4 10:20 pass to Kittle. This is same drive as the Deebo TD. Short completed pass. Everything is fine on the play but the ball floats and has very little spin. Same drive. Short pass to CMC on the other side of the field. 4 or 5 yard out for a first down. Pass completed. It’s a good play. But again the ball has little velocity and a lot of float to get to CMC.

  6. I’m not sure about the Greenlaw penalty. From what I saw, the Giant’s player was inbounds when Greenlaw hit him – so I don’t see any problem with that. If the whistle blew to stop the play before Greenlaw hit him, then that is surprising to me because that seems like an early whistle and it’s possible Greenlaw never heard it and probably wasn’t expecting a whistle to be blown that early — if, in fact, the whistle was blown.

  7. is it just me or are the 9ers winning the games ugly and easy at the same time?
    the D adjustment are solid. the O adjustments are hit and miss, the rams games it took 2 int’s in the 2nd half to put it away, tnf it was a a close game well into the 4th

  8. Someone want to tell me the definition of a safety, because the NIners were clearly denied one in the first half. The final score should have been 32 to 12.

    1. Carole,
      If you are tackled while you are in the end zone it is a safety. If the player is in the field when first contacted and driven into the EZ he gets his forward progress and it is not a safety.

  9. AES
    The 9ers offense big test will be if Dallas DC Dan Quinn’s game plan is successful attacking Purdy?
    A) IMO, the key will be can the 9ers run against Dallas D and keep moving the chains?
    B) Can the 9er O-Line protect Purdy and give him time to get the ball to his receivers?

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