AT A GLANCE
The Giants have officially dropped into a deep hole. Failing to build on their productive second half last week in Chicago, the Giants were dominated by a depleted San Francisco 49ers team Sunday in MetLife Stadium and lost, 36-9. They were outscored in the second half, 20-3, as they fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2017. The Giants were limited to three field goals and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since a 17-0 loss to Tennessee on Dec. 16, 2018. The stats were ugly. The Giants were outgained, 420-231, finished with 13 first downs to 29 for the Niners, and owned the ball for just 20:16. The 49ers also converted eight of 12 third down opportunities.
The Giants begin a two-game road trip with their first trip to Los Angeles in 26 years when they face the Rams next Sunday in brand new SoFi Stadium at 4:05 p.m. The teams last met on Nov. 5, 2017, when the Rams led by as many as 38 points on their way to a 51-17 victory. That ended the Giants' seven-game winning streak in the series; they had defeated the Rams in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2016, a stretch of success that immediately followed five consecutive Rams victories in the series. The Giants were 3-10 in regular-season games and 1-0 in the playoffs in Los Angeles when they Rams were based there from 1946-94. They last played there on Oct. 16, 1994, when they lost, 17-10, a year before the Rams began their 21-year stay in St. Louis.
View photos from the Week 3 matchup between the Giants and 49ers at MetLife Stadium.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE OFFENSE
It misses the Saquon Barkley. Without the former Rookie of the Year, the Giants used committee of running backs. Wayne Gallman started the game, newcomer Devonta Freeman played the second series and Dion Lewis also got reps early and throughout the game. The trio rushed for only 17 yards on 10 carries. The Giants' leading ground gainer was … Daniel Jones, with 49 yards on five attempts.
Jones also completed 17 of 32 passes for 179 yards. He failed to throw a touchdown pass for the second week in a row after starting his career with a streak of 13 straight with a scoring pass.
Jones was perhaps unjustly charged with his second lost fumble and fifth turnover of the season with 6:42 remaining in the first quarter. Jones lateraled the ball to Evan Engram but the tight end was unable to secure the ball, which fell to the ground. Defensive lineman Dion Jordan fell on it, a takeaway that led to Robbie Gould's second field goal of the game, a 32-yarder.
Late in the second quarter, Jones threw his fourth interception of the season when his pass for Engram as picked off by linebacker Fred Warner. That led to Robbie Gould's field goal with three seconds remaining in the half and concluded a surge in which the Niners scored 10 points in the final 1:07 of the second quarter.
Joe Judge is not afraid to gamble but his willingness to take a chance didn't always work out in his favor Sunday. On the first drive of the third quarter, the Giants faced a fourth-and-two at their when Jones and Engram hooked up for a nine-yard gain. The series ended with Graham Gano's 37-yard field goal.
Later in the quarter, the Giants were at their own 30-yard line when Judge ordered them to go for it on fourth-and-one. Jones was stopped short on a quarterback sneak. The Niners took over and needed just four plays to travel 30 yards for the touchdown that increased their lead to 29-9.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT THE DEFENSE
The defense was not at the top of its game Sunday as San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight offensive possessions – five touchdowns and three field goals. The Giants hurt themselves with an inability to get off the field on third down and penalties.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was one of several 49ers front-line players who were inactive due to injury. It didn't matter. His replacement, Nick Mullens, completed 25 of 36 passes for 343 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Giants did not force a turnover.
The Giants got a break with 1:13 remaining in the first quarter when Mullens' four-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon was nullified by Daniel Brunskill's illegal hands to the face penalty, After Jordan Reed couldn't stay inbounds in the back of the end zone on the next play, the Niners settled for Robbie Gould's 32-yard field goal and a 6-0 lead.
Darnay Holmes' illegal contact penalty on third-and-22 gave San Francisco a first down with 4:13 remaining in the second quarter. The 49ers soon scored their first touchdown.
Logan Ryan played multiple positions for the Giants in the first two games, but he was pressed into duty as the fulltime strong safety today after Jabrill Peppers suffered an ankle injury as Robbie Gold kicked a 52-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The 49ers did not punt in a game for the first time since December 19, 1993.
WHAT WE LEARNED ABOUT SPECIAL TEAMS
Both former Giants and current San Francisco kicker Robbie Gould, a 16-year veteran, and the Giants' Graham Gano, now in his 11th season, still have strong legs. Each easily for the necessary distance on 52-yard field goals in the first half. And Gould was wide right on a 55-yard try midway through the second quarter.
The Giants had a statistical anomaly Sunday – they punted just once but lost by 20 points. Riley Dixon was not called on to punt until early in the fourth quarter as Judge preferred to try to keep possession of the ball.
San Francisco's Mitch Wishnowsky was also idle as a punt, though he did hold and kick off.
Niners' long snapper Kyle Nelson had a rough day, twice delivering the ball low on extra points attempts. San Francisco got a second-chance conversion after the first one, thanks to Lorenzo Carter's facemask penalty on Wishnowsky. They missed what became a two-point try on the second one.
NYG: Giants strong safety Jabrill Peppers hurt his ankle – not on defense, but on Robbie Gould's 52-yard field goal with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter. Peppers limped off and did not return. Left tackle Andrew Thomas, the team's first-round draft choice, left the game with 2:47 remaining and was replaced by another rookie, Matt Peart, who saw his first NFL action.
SF: The 49ers arrived with a depleted roster. Their standout players on injured reserve include defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Deebo Samuel. Players on the roster who missed the game because of injuries included quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), running backs Raheem Mostert (knee) and Tevin Coleman (knee), tight end George Kittle (knee), defensive end Dee Ford (back) and linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quad). Jordan Reed, who started in place of Kittle, left the game with an ankle injury in the first half. Cornerback Emmanuel Mosley left the game with a head injury.
NYG: The Giants' six-man inactive list included defensive backs Brandon Williams and Adrian Colbert, linebackers TJ Brunson, tight end Eric Tomlinson, defensive lineman RJ McIntosh and Jackson Barton.
SF: The 49er's inactives included five starters: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle), running back Raheem Mostert (knee), two-time Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle (knee), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (quad) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring), plus linebacker Dee Ford (back) and tackle Tom Compton.
NYG: With Saquon Barkley out for the year with a knee injury, Wayne Gallman started at running back for the first time since Oct. 6, 2019 vs Minnesota. It was the fifth start of his four-year career. Isaac Yiadom started at right cornerback in place of Corey Ballentine, who was in the starting lineup for the first two games.
SF: Nick Mullens played quarterback in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, Jerick McKinnon started at running back for Raheem Mostert, Jordan Reed played tight end for George Kittle, rookie Javon Kinlaw and Kerry Hyder, Jr. opened on the defensive line, Azez Al-Shaair played linebacker and Jason Verrett started at left cornerback for Ahkello Witherspoon.