The Giants lost to San Francisco on Sunday by the score of 16-10. It was the fifth straight defeat for Big Blue and one that undoubtedly will raise questions from fans and the media regarding the team’s leadership and direction going forward. It was a game that the Giants had multiple chances to take, but they failed to do so for a variety of reasons. Here are your heroes and goats.
Odell Beckham Jr.
We already know that Beckham Jr. is turning into the Giants’ top receiver. He could even be a star for years to come. That’s the kind of potential you can talk about when you watch the rookie haul in a juggling sideline catch like the one he made with five minutes to go in this game. The clutch play could have set up a go-ahead score, but New York failed to cash in.
Sure, he’s on the other team, but the rookie out of Wisconsin continues to blow us away with his incredibly active play. With both Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman stuck on the sidelines, Borland was a menace on defense, getting into the backfield for a pair of tackles for loss and stepping in front of a pass to steal away a possession. The interception he caught on a deflected pass on 4th-and-goal in the fourth quarter was just icing on the cake for Borland. This is the type of linebacker that Giants fans have been waiting for Jerry Reese to draft for years.
Fans love throwback uniforms, but they probably didn’t like this throwback game from Eli Manning. Unless they were 49ers fans. After throwing just six interceptions through the season’s first nine games, Manning returned to his old ways on Sunday with a whopping five picks and just 22 completions on 45 pass attempts. When the Giants got down to the San Francisco four-yard line with a chance to win the game later in the fourth quarter, Manning threw three straight incompletions followed by an interception to seal New York’s fate. Brutal.
We didn’t expect him to get the majority of the work at tailback with Rashad Jennings back in the lineup, but we did want a little more than this. Williams rushed just twice on Sunday for a total of two yards. It was curious to see him in the backfield with the Giants desperately looking for a touchdown in the game’s final minute, but Williams did manage to make his first reception of the game. He declined to go out of bounds and instead was tackled on the field to help run out the clock.
The New York defense played well for the most part in this game, holding the 49ers to field goal after field goal while the offense surrendered the ball without fail. A week after Russell Wilson torched this unit with the read option, Colin Kaepernick rushed for just 24 yards on eight carries, but aging tailback Frank Gore ripped off 95 yards on just 19 totes. With the secondary banged up and vulnerable to big plays like the one Michael Crabtree made on Sunday, the run defense has to step up and be a bigger factor.