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