November 14, 2011
By J.D. Cook
The New York Giants faced off against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday in a possible showdown for second place in the NFC. Both teams played up to the hype that surrounded them. Eli came out with 10 straight complete passes before faltering later in the game. He is a gunslinger after all, and gunslingers shoot from the hip and don’t always hit their targets. Although his two late interceptions were very bad as both seemed to go straight to corner back Carlos Rodgers, but my guess would be this was due to a route break down.
That said, both teams played extremely well. The biggest surprise of the game was that the Giants’ defense handily shut down All-Pro running back Frank Gore who is having a monster season. Like last week this was a game that could be broken into two halves. The first was a defensive struggle and the second was more of an offensive show. The game even ended up with Eli and the offense driving down the field for the winning score. Unfortunately this week the Giants came up short despite two 4th down conversions on what was nearly the game winning drive. My mind is sent back to John Elway, he is well known for his comebacks but not even he won them all.
Strangely this game was something of a return to the eighties as both the 49ers and Giants were regular contenders in that decade. There was even shades of Marc Bravaro carrying Ronnie Lott as tight end Jake Ballard “of a thin man”, barreled through the 49ers defense for a fifteen yard reception and a first down. This was really a break out game for the Giants passing game as receivers Manningham, Cruz, and Nicks all had big games. It should be noted that they were without their starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw for the second week. His return may give the running game the kick it needs to balance the offense a bit.
This game may have knocked the Giants from 2nd place in the NFC. for now, but if they focus as a unit and beat the Eagles this week, the NFC East is still well within their grasp.