New York Giants report card: Grading win over the 49ers

Eli Manning and the Giants did just enough to get the win against San Francisco.
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

By Jenna Spak

This past weekend, the New York Giants took on their storied rivals in the San Francisco 49ers at MetLife Stadium. The Giants were looking to take hold of the NFC East division, as a win would have them sitting pretty at first place, after a rough start a couple of weeks ago.

And they did just that. The Giants won their third straight, and are now first in the NFC East with a 3-2 record. However, the Giants never like making things easy, as this win was a hard-fought nail-biter up until the last seconds of the game. But the Giants did not lose steam in the fourth quarter this time around, as they had earlier in the season, and came up big at crucial points. If New York continues to play with the heart and determination evident in this game, I believe they will be able to secure their lead in the NFC East.

Offense: A-

The offense largely had a solid game, and ultimately came through when it mattered most. Eli Manning played like the quarterback Giants fans have known him to be in the past, passing for 441 yards on 41 completions. With this win, Manning also became the winningest quarterback in New York Giants’ history at 102 wins. Though Manning has been very inconsistent in recent years, it cannot be denied that he is still a great quarterback, and arguably the best in franchise history. Manning also harnessed some of this fourth-quarter magic that has been lacking for some time, driving down the field with seconds left in the game for 82 yards, resulting in a beautiful touchdown courtesy of Larry Donnell.

Other offensive highlights include Odell Beckham Jr.’s 49-yard catch (which, really, is no surprise). However, Beckham left the game for a short time with an apparent hamstring injury, something that has plagued him in the past. Right now, all Giants fans can do is pray that it’s nothing serious. The game on the ground also looked good, as noted by Shane Vereen’s 24-yard play.

While the offense largely looked good and scored 30 points on the night, it wasn’t without blunders. After many impressive drives, the Giants settled for three points, much to the chagrin of the fans at MetLife. Furthermore, as the first half was coming to a close and the Giants were threatening, Manning threw an interception, giving the 49ers the momentum going into the second half.

Defense: C+

While the offense had an impressive game, the defense looked mediocre at best. For one, they allowed 27 points to a 49ers' offense that has not played well as of late. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was given way too much time, resulting in him throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Keeping in mind that the 49ers have the No. 32-ranked passing offense, its concerning to think what would’ve happened if the Giants were up against a better passing team.

New York also allowed the 49ers to take the lead late in the fourth quarter – something that would have stung for a long time had the Giants’ offense not shown grit and determination in taking the game back.

Overall, the Giants are still improving game-to-game, and even though they have a number of head-shaking mistakes, they have made up for them recently. The division still looks weak, as the Giants are in first with a 3-2 record, so they need to just continue to capitalize, especially on weeks where most of the NFC teams take a loss (in this case, Dallas and Washington). Things are looking up for the Giants, especially after the first few weeks, and hopefully this momentum will carry them over the rival Philadelphia Eagles next week.

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