Giants Week 5 Review

The week 5 clash between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers illustrate how games are won and lost on the field not by the rankings in specific categories. Many believed the 49ers would just roll over and be decimated by the Giants but that was not the case. Both teams traded field goals in the first quarter but the Giants were able to take a 10-3 lead when Eli Manning hit Shane Vereen out of the backfield to give the Gmen a 10-3 lead. After Josh Brown’s 41 yard field goal the Giants expanded their lead to 13-3 only to have San Francisco respond with their own field goal to cut the deficit to 13-6 at halftime. The Giant’s lead could have been greater if not for a costly interception by Manning which reinvigorated the 49ers team. The second half was a back and forth affair with 2 ties and 2 lead changes where Colin Kaepernick reintroduced himself to the NFL at the expense of Big Blue D. Kaepernick had 2 touchdown passes in the half and led the 49ers down the field a third time with the last score giving the 49ers a 27-23 lead with 1:45 left. Luckily for Giant fans the final strike would be the deciding blow. With Ruben Randle and Odell Beckham on the sideline for the majority of the drive Manning primarily utilized Vereen to get the Giants in scoring position along with a costly pass interference that was set up by Odell Beckham Jr. On Manning’s last throw of the game tight end Larry Donnell was able to grab the ball over 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman’s outreached hands for the final tally. The New York Giants were able to take advantage of the opportunity presented and were able to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

Pros.

1. Game winning drive: With all three of their time outs but a decimated wide receiver cover Eli Manning demonstrated why he should be considered an elite quarterback in the NFL. Manning utilized four different weapons to get the Giants down the field. First Manning scrambled for a first down which all Big Blue followers know is not Manning’s strength. Second Vereen caught 2 passes for 40 yards to get the Giants in scoring range. When OBJ reentered the game Manning immediately targeted him and while there was not a reception a pass interference was called. Lastly, Manning made a gutsy throw that paid off when Donnell was able to haul in the game winner.

2. Eli Manning: What else can be said about Eli but he had a phenomenal game going 41-54 for a 75.9% passing percentage and picking up 441 yards in the air and three touchdowns.

3. Odell Beckham Jr: While Beckham Jr. has been slighted by some other players in the NFL he continued to show in his sophomore campaign he is not a one hit wonder. Making 7 grabs on 11 targets (63.6%) with 121 yards and a touchdown OBJ showed he is a star in this league that will keep opposing coaches up all night wondering if they can stop him.

Cons

1. Rushing Defense: Big Blue D was entering this game with the best running defense in the league. From the first 49ers’s drive of the game they effectively were able to dominate the Giants using the run. While some might think that Kaepernick was the main culprit he was not with Carlos Hyde picking up 93 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown.

2. Red Zone Defense: San Francisco’s offense was supposed to be anemic against the Giants but many people were wrong on that assumption. The 49ers were able to get to the red zone 4 times and converted for touchdowns on 3 of those occasions. For the Giants to be successful their defense must perform much better if not dominate in the red zone.

3. Red Zone Turnover: Eli has been turning the ball over far less this season with only 3 on the season. The only issue is where the turnovers are occurring and that is in the red zone. Against Atlanta the Manning fumble changed momentum and allowed the Falcons to win and the Manning interception before the expiration of the first half almost had the same dreaded result.