- The Giants had opportunities.**
After throwing just six interceptions in his first nine games this season, quarterback Eli Manning nearly matched that number in four quarters on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, who defeated the Giants, 16-10, at MetLife Stadium. From recovering an onside kick to rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. making a circus catch to set up a first-and-goal with a chance to take the lead, the turnovers handcuffed any momentum the Giants had throughout the game.
"I didn't expect it," Manning said. "I've got to do better. I've got to make better decisions, better throws. They're all on me, it's nobody else's fault. I've got to protect the ball and can't afford to turn it over, especially a couple times in field goal range."
*2. The defense and special teams kept it close. *
With their performance last week in Seattle, the Giants defense fell to last in the NFL in yards allowed per game heading into Week 12 against San Francisco. Coach Tom Coughlin told the unit earlier in the week to "do something about it." And for the most part, the defensive unit did. Despite giving up 175 yards to the 49ers on their first four possessions, the Giants held San Francisco to three field goals and a fumble that cornerback Zack Bowman recovered on the first drive of the game. The turnover led to the Giants' offense breaking its 20-game streak of not scoring a touchdown on the opening possession. The biggest play the Giants allowed was a 48-yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick to wide receiver Michael Crabtree to begin the second half. The 49ers took a 16-7 at the time, and it proved to be the difference on the scoreboard but wasn't the only cause of defeat.
"The defense obviously had listened to enough and they played with good physical play," Coughlin said after the game. "They made plays out there today and got a lot of stops. I thought special teams made a contribution as well. I thought the entire preparation was very good. The offensive preparation was good; we just had nothing to show for it."
3. The Giants can't afford another "fiasco."
Sitting on a five-game losing streak, the 3-7 Giants have now turned in a "fiasco" by all three phases. In Week 2 against Arizona, the special teams allowed a 71-punt return touchdown by Ted Ginn Jr. as part of 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Last week, the defense allowed the Seahawks to pile up a franchise-record 350 rushing yards and were outscored 24-0 in the second half, 21 of which came in the fourth quarter. On Sunday, it was the offense turning the ball over five times. The question now is how can they put it all behind them with six games to play and standing outside the playoff picture.
"We'll have another opportunity next week," Coughlin said. "We can't feel sorry for ourselves and hang our heads. No one person in the locker room feels worse than another one. You're not going to win a game turning the ball over five times – I can guarantee you that. We need to bounce back, and now we've had a defensive fiasco; we've had an offensive fiasco. Perhaps maybe now we'll be able to go and put something together."
View the best photos from the game vs. the 49ers