Giants Romp 49ers – Grades: Diary of a Giants Fan
Faced with another tough road contest, the Giants went into San Francisco and dominated the 49ers.
The last time a bunch of dudes went west and took from the natives that which no one was sure belonged to them, they were conquering their way across the Oregon Trail. And not unlike that journey, things didn't start out brilliantly for the Giants on their quest. The pioneers had dysentery, the Giants had a bend-to-the-max-but-narrowly-avoid-breaking defense. The old timers' oxen drowned, Big Blue went three and out. And while all of my knowledge on the subject is confined to the video game named for the route I mentioned above, I'm fairly certain things ended up working out for the explorers - as it did for the Giants.
With the 49ers able to collect only three points off of two early, impressive drives, the door was open for Eli Manning to take over the game. Ever the Batman - the QB the Giants need - Manning did just that, finding receiver after receiver in a sparkling drive that ended with a Victor Cruz touchdown.
From then on, there was no looking back. Manning continued to be efficient, the offensive and defensive lines dominated, Bradshaw had another big day, the secondary intercepted Alex Smith three times, and the Giants rolled to a 26-3 win. To sum it up? Manifest Destiny.
Grades - Offensive Line - A+: Quite simply, this was the best a Giant offensive line has looked in years. They dominated the most physical team in football, and did it with ease.
Running Backs - A-: There were a few instances in which Bradshaw missed the hole and took a loss rather than a quality gain, but admittedly, such a realization is the whiny knit-picking of a guy who watched the Yankees lose on Sunday. Great performance.
Wide Receivers - A-: Find me a drop. I dare you.
Eli Manning - A: The stats weren't there, but they didn't need to be. Once again, Eli Manning wasn't the quarterback everyone wants, he was the quarterback everyone needed.
Special Teams - C: Nothing overly troubling, but there's no excuse for getting a field goal blocked.
Defensive Line - A: The demons have been exercised. Six sacks, stifled the run game. Look out world, the boys may very well be back.
Linebackers - A: They helped keep the run game in check and, more importantly, helped keep Vernon Davis in check. Hard to find a weakness in their game Sunday.
Secondary - A: Even if I didn't grade this unit on a curve they'd earn the highest of marks with their performance against the 49ers. Alex Smith hadn't turned the ball over much at all this season, and these much maligned defensive backs managed to collect three interceptions on the day. It was one of their best games in a while.
Did we notice a theme? This was a dominant performance by the G-Men, one they'll be hard pressed to top as the season wears on. They'll do their best next week hosting RGIII and the Washington Redskins. Make sure to check in mid-week for a preview of the game and, as always, Go Giants!