SFI's LIVE Game Blog: 49ers vs. Giants

The 49ers are fighting for survival today as they face the NFC East-leading New York Giants at The Meadowlands, and SFI will keep you up to date on the action with live reports and commentary from Giants Stadium. Make sure to refresh this page every 15 minutes for running updates throughout the game.

12:45 p.m. Greetings, 49ers fans. Well, the Niners are up against it today, facing the defending Super Bowl champions who are smarting after a loss, and there is growing doubt whether San Francisco can turn its season around after three disappointing losses in which the Niners have surrendered at least 30 points in each. Those questions about the Mike Nolan regime are back in full force, and he is quickly running out of time to turn this thing around ...

12:51: But an upset win today would be a big step toward a turnaround, and would give the 49ers an opportunity to right the ship before their midseason bye, which comes after next week's home game against Seattle. But talking to insiders close to the team, there are many who are ready to stick a fork in the 49ers. At 2-4 after last week's fourth quarter collapse against the Eagles, they don't see a turnaround coming. Clearly, the time is now for the 49ers to take control of their season. Or else ...

12:55: The Browns gave the 49ers a blueprint for how to attack the Giants on Monday night during Cleveland's 35-14 victory, spreading out New York's defense, which is what San Francisco needs to do today. The 49ers have just the offense to do that, and the Niners – no matter what – simply have to keep feeding the ball to Frank Gore from start to finish. Despite their losing problems since Gore game to the team in 2005, the 49ers are 12-2 in games in which he has carried the ball 20 or more times. Gore leads the NFL with 720 yards from scrimmage, and he's the key man for San Francisco today – just like always ...

12:58: The 49ers win the coin toss and will receive the opening kickoff. San Francisco's 19th-ranked offense will get its first shot at New York's sixth-ranked defense ...

1:06: Allen Rossum's kickoff return gets the 49ers out to their own 23, but it's not a very promising start for San Francisco as Gore sweeps the right side on first down and loses two yards. After a short throw to Michael Robinson sets up a manageable third down, quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan is sacked as protection breaks down quickly and the 49ers are forced to punt. The Giants, who own the NFL's top-ranked offense, will start their first possession from their own 34 ...

1:10: It's a solid stand by the San Francisco defense the first time out, forcing the Giants and quarterback Eli Manning into a third-and-long on their first series. Manning hits Plaxico Burress with a deep pass over the middle that picks up a bundle of yards good enough to move the chains, but the Niners strip Burress of the football as he goes down to the ground, with Dashon Goldson jumping on the loose ball. It sure does look like a catch and fumble, but the officials are ruling an incompletion. The 49ers won't complain, and they'll get the ball back after a nice defensive stop ...

1:15: The 49ers come out in the wildcat offense on their next possession, with O'Sullivan split out on the edge and Robinson taking a snap in shotgun formation and then handing off to Gore. It's a short gain, and then Gore is smothered on second-and-long, setting up third-and-13. O'Sullivan drops back and has no time to throw, and is quickly dumped for his second sack in as many possessions. Lee has to punt from deep in his own territory, and the Giants will have great field position to begin their second offensive series ...

1:20: The Giants simply make it look to easy as they quickly sift through the San Francisco defense on a four-play, 54-yard touchdown drive. Brandon Jacobs picks up six yards on first down, Manning throws to Amani Toomer for gains of 8 and 14 yards, and then Jacobs bounces outside and bursts down the right sideline for a 26-yard touchdown run on which he was barely touched – his longest run of the season. The 49ers are going to have to put up more resistance than that if they expect to stay in this one. Sheez ...
Giants 7, 49ers 0

1:25: The 49ers start their third drive at their own 34, and O'Sullivan finds tight end Vernon Davis wide open over the middle at midfield. O'Sullivan hits Davis in the hands – and he drops it! It would have been San Francisco's first first down. But the 49ers make up for it on the next play as O'Sullivan finds Gore on the right side and he turns it into a huge gain into New York territory. The San Francisco offense is in business ...

1:32: O'Sullivan hits Isaac Bruce for a first down at the New York 24 as the San Francisco offense finally appears to be getting in a rhythm. But the 49ers try some misdirection with an inside handoff to tight end Delanie Walker, which loses three yards on first down, and that immediately dooms the drive as O'Sullivan throws incomplete to Gore near the goal line on third down. Still, it's a decent drive to get the 49ers going, and Joe Nedney comes in and splits the uprights with a 40-yard field goal, not exactly an easy kick amid the swirling autumn winds at Giants Stadium. The 49ers are on the scoreboard ...
Giants 7, 49ers 3

1:42: It looking pretty pathetic as three consecutive penalties by the San Francisco defense pave the way for the Giants right down the field. Two of them are on cornerback Nate Clements – one of them for a stupid personal foul and another for interference on Burress deep down the field that takes the Giants all the way to the San Francisco 20. From there, the Giants push it near the goal line, and they'll have a second-and-goal from the 2 to begin the second quarter as the first period comes to an end ...

1:45 One play is all the Giants need as Jacobs drives into the end zone on the first play of the second quarter. John Carney's PAT gives New York an early 11-point bulger, and the San Francisco offense must respond to prevent this one from getting away from the 49ers ...
Giants 14, 49ers 3

1:52: What a sweet drive by the 49ers! San Francisco's offense answers right back with a 74-yard touchdown drive. This could be called the Josh Morgan drive as O'Sullivan hooks up with the rookie twice for completions of 14 yards to get the drive moving, then finishes it will a perfectly-thrown 30-yard touchdown pass to Morgan, who puts a nifty double move on cornerback Aaron Ross and beats him into the end zone to make the grab. Bruce also has an 8-yard reception on the drive as San Francisco moves right down the field in six plays, and now the 49ers have some momentum and are right back in the game ...
Giants 14, 49ers 10

1:59: Linebacker Patrick Willis drops Jacobs for a loss on first down to begin the next drive, but the Giants get out of a third-and-11 hole as Manning hits Burress. The Giants are moving now into San Francisco territory, but now the 49ers them facing another third-and-long. And now, an offensive pass interference penalty on Burress forces a third-and-19. That's some redemption for Clements, and now the 49ers have a chance to get the ball back as the Giats march back into their own territory ...

2:05: The Giants get some yards back on a screen pass to Ahmad Bradshaw, but it's not enough for the first down, and Burress loses his cool, getting slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct flag, which he clearly deserves after berating the officials. Now the Giants, who once were on the edge of scoring in San Francisco territory, must punt from well in their own 30. After stopping the Giants, the 49ers will begin their next series at their own 19 ...

2:09: Gore makes a great play on first down, taking a dump off pass from O'Sullivan and making defenders miss to pick up a first down. But Morgan is called for a personal foul after the play – it looks like a very weak call by the officials – and then O'Sullivan misses a wide-open Bruce along the right sideline on second-and-9. Boy, that's a throw JTO would like back as Bruce had shook loose of the San Francisco defense. O'Sullivan overthrows Morgan on third-and-long, but Andy Lee gets the 49ers out of a hole with a booming 60-yard punt ...

2:14: The 49ers are starting to get a read on the New York defense as Clements streaks in from left corner and drops Jacobs for a three-yard loss on first down. Now it's third-and-7, and the 49ers get to Manning! He's hit as he throws by linebacker Patrick Willis, and Jeff Feagles has to punt after the incompletion. With Rossum out now with a leg injury, Clements is returning punts for the 49ers ...

2:17: The 49ers are pinned back in their own territory at the 15, and on first down, O'Sullivan makes a horrible read, throwing the ball right to Giants safety Michael Johnson, who only has to catch the ball. Johnson makes the pick and returns it 19 yards to give the Giants a first-and-goal situation. What a horrible turnover and turnaround for the 49ers, who now lead the NFL with 16 turnovers after O'Sullivan's ninth interception of the season. This was one of his worst ...

2:19: It's third-and-goal from the 3 now as the clock hits the two-minute warning. It would be huge here if the 49ers can keep the Giants out of the end zone ...

2:22: Great stop on third down. The Giants go to the right corner on a fade pattern to Burress, but Clements is all over it, and the ball falls incomplete. That's big. The Giants have to settle for a short field goal by Carney, but the 49ers remain within a score and have plenty of time remaining to make something happen on offense before halftime ...
Giants 17, 49ers 10

2:27: The 49ers get moving quickly downfield as O'Sullivan picks up big yardage on a first-down scramble, then hits Gore with a short pass on the next play, and Gore takes the ball into New York territory. A false start by Gore pushes the ball back to the 47. But O'Sullivan hits Gore deep down the field to the New York 20 for a 28-yard gain, and the 49ers take a timeout with 22 seconds left in the half ...

2:28: But it's all for naught. O'Sullivan makes another bad read and tries to force the ball into the end zone to a double-covered Arnaz Battle. Johnson, in front of Battle, has the ball thrown right to him again, and he makes the pick in the end zone – O'Sullivan's second of the day. This one hurts, as the 49ers were going to get at least three points out of this drive, and quite possible would have tied the game by halftime ...

2:30: Instead, Manning kneels down on the final play of the first half as the Giants preserve their touchdown lead at the intermission. Nice comeback for the 49ers after an early 14-3 deficit, but they could be so much closer without the two turnovers, which rest squarely on O'Sullivan, who now is showing a definite tendency for throwing untimely interceptions ...

2:38: O'Sullivan's two picks clearly are the difference in this game, as they led to three points for the Giants and took at least three points off the board for the 49ers. Otherwise, the 49ers recovered nicely from their early troubles and hold a 186-129 advantage in total yardage at halftime. The defense actually is playing very well and has held the Giants to just 1 of 6 conversions in third-down situations. The 49ers, conversely, are 0 for 4 on third downs themselves. The Giants are doing an excellent job stuffing Gore, who has just nine yards rushing on six carries at the break ...

2:42: Take away the two picks, and O'Sullivan is picking apart the New York defense, completing 11 of 18 passes for 168 yards. Manning is just 8 of 14 for 72 yards as he and the New York offense get the ball first to begin the second half ...

2:50: Tack on 15 yards on the kickoff return as Keith Lewis takes a needless fist to the facemask of a Giant at the end of the play and gets flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct. Sheez. Now the Giants are moving, and quickly get into San Francisco territory. But the defense forces a third-and-long, and Walt Harris makes a nice play to break up the ensuing pass. Nice play by Harris, and nice stop by the SF defense. Ball back to the 49ers ...

2:53: This is why the 49ers are simply not a good team. Two consecutive rushes by Gore set up a third-and-2 situation, and the 49ers smartly go to Gore again on that third play. But the 49ers can't execute a simple handoff between Gore and O'Sullivan, as Gore seems to move without the football. Gore can't jump on his own fumble, and the Giants get the ball at the San Francisco 18. Sheez. Mistakes like that are just killers, and now the Giants have an opportunity to take total command ...

2:57: The 49ers force the Giants into a third-and-long, but New York converts on a pass from Manning to Toomer. Now with a first-and-goal, the Giants look to Burress, who beats Clements on the left side and takes in a crisp six-yard pass from Manning for a touchdown that gives New York a sudden 14-point lead and gives them an opportunity to turn this one into a rout if the 49ers can't answer back ...
Giants 24, 49ers 10

3:04: The 49ers abandon the running game, and O'Sullivan is sacked on first down and throws a weak incompletion on second down. But he hits Battle on a hot read on third and long on the next play for big yardage, then hits Josh Morgan for another first down on the next play to take San Francisco into New York territory. Just like that, the 49ers are moving ...

3:07: But Gore loses three yards on first down, and the drive stalls from there. Lee punts into the New York end zone to give the ball back to the Giants. Here's how San Francisco's offense has done on its last three drives – punt, three turnovers, punt. Sheez ...

3:12: The 49ers immediately force the Giants into a third-and-10 – and then whiff big time. Ward takes a short swing pass and turns it into a huge 35-yard gain to take New York into San Francisco territory just when it seems the 49ers D was about to force a much-needed quick three-and-out. Have we said Sheez yet? ...

3:17: It's another third-down situation for the Giants, and another conversion as Harris is called for pass interference as gets tangled on the right side with Toomer. Sheez. Bradshaw, apparently stopped at the line of scrimmage, then bursts up the middle for huge yardage, but the ball comes out at the end of the play, and it's ruled a fumble that is recovered by the 49ers! The Giants are going to challenge this one, as it appeared Bradshaw might be down before the ball comes out ...

3:20: The Giants are acting like there's no question they'll get the ball back after the replay review, and they're right. Officials rule that Bradshaw's shin was down before the ball came out, and it probably is the correct call. So much for a big break by the 49ers. The Giants, however, are penalized for a personal foul at the end of the fumble return and are pushed back 15 yards. They now have a first down at the San Francisco 23 as play resumes ...

3:23: The 49ers do the job on defense, forcing Manning into an incompletion on third down, and the Giants will have to settle for a short 35-yard field goal attempt by Carney. It could be worse ...

3:25: Or it could be A WHOLE LOT BETTER! On the field-goal attempt, Manny Lawson breaks through the line and makes his biggest play of the season, blocking Carney's field goal right up the gut. The ball bounces into the hands of Clements, who breaks away from a Giant and then has clear sailing into the end zone!! It's a 74-yard return for a touchdown, the 49ers' second blocked field goal returned for a touchdown in two weeks, and just like that, the 49ers are back within a touchdown. Talk about huge momentum swings. The 49ers were about to go down by 17 points. Now they are within seven. Huge, huge play ...
Giants 24, 49ers 17

3:32: The 49ers immediately force the Giants into another third-down situation, but Lawson jumps offsides on the play, moving the chains for New York. The third quarter ends, and New York will face a second-and-10 as the final period begins ...

3:38: On third-and-5, Clements is all over Burress, forcing a big incompletion. Now the Giants are lining up for a 48-yard field-goal attempt – no chip shot by any means. Think the Giants are a little nervous about this one? They shouldn't be. Carney drills it – his longest field goal of the year. It barely clears the goal post, but it's good enough to stretch New York's lead back to two possessions ...
Giants 27, 49ers 17

3:41: After a short kickoff by Carney, rookie Kentwan Balmer gets his third return of the season and takes it out to the 32, where San Francisco will begin its next possession, and important one if the Niners are going to stay in this game ...

3:44: Facing a second-and-12, O'Sullivan rolls right and is chased from behind, and he fumbles as he is being brought down! Disaster! The ball bounces backward, but luckily tackle Barry Sims falls on it for the 49ers. But it's another careless ball-handling error by O'Sullivan, and it sets up a third-and-20 ...

3:46: But say this for JTO – he hangs in there. He steps up in the pocket and drills a pass over the middle to Battle, who picks up the necessary yardage and converts the third-and-20 to keep the drive moving. You won't see that happen very often. Then JTO goes deep, and he has Morgan open deep down the left sideline. He drops it in perfectly over the shoulder of Morgan, who has gotten open with two defenders on him, but Morgan drops it! That would have been a huge play deep into New York territory. Another missed opportunity by the 49ers ...

3:50: The drive stalls after that missed opportunity and the 49ers, with the ball near midfield, have to punt it back to Giants with just under eight minutes remaining to play ...

3:56: The defense, aided by a New York turnover, forces a third-and-19 and holds. After the punt, the 49ers start their next possession inside their 20. And immediately, disaster strikes. Justin Tuck beats Sims around the right side and slaps the ball away from O'Sullivan. The ball bounces around and toward the San Francisco end zone, where Morgan finally kicks it through the end zone. The 49ers are called for two penalties on the play – holding on Sims and an illegal kick on Morgan – but it doesn't change the result. It's a safety for the Giants, and since they'll get the ball back with a free kick, that should about do it ...
Giants 29, 49ers 17

4:03: The Giants simply run the ball to take time off the clock, and Bradshaw almost commits a major gaffe when he fumbles on third down inside his own 40. But the Giants recover. Isn't that the way this game – and this season – have gone for the 49ers? ...

4:05: The 49ers get the ball back, but the game is winding down, and O'Sullivan is stripped again of the football as he attempts to pass – that's three times today!! That will increase O'Sullivan's NFL lead in fumbles. The 49ers face second-and-long as the two-minute warning comes, and you can chalk this one up as another loss ...

4:08: It's complete futility watching the 49ers trying to get out of a second-and-20 hole, which becomes a third-and-30 hole – third-and-30!! – after Joe Staley is called for holding ...

4:11: Robinson picks up a nice chunk of yardage on third down to set up a fourth-and-12, and O'Sullivan breaks out of the pocket on the play. But instead of trying to get the ball downfield, he runs out of bounds on the right sideline. Huh? Chuck the frickin ball down the field, JTO. Well, that's an appropriate ending for another botched afternoon by O'Sullivan, who is quickly looking like nothing better than a stopgap backup quarterback ...

4:13: Manning kneels down, and that's how this one ends – another loss for the 49ers, their fourth in a row. It's another mistake-filled defeat for San Francisco, which drops to 2-5, their record after seven games under Mike Nolan for the fourth consecutive season.
Final score: Giants 29, 49ers 17



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