Plax's grab turns game in Giants Favor

Plaxico Burress knew he needed to make a play to make a difference. All game long the Niners cornerbacks were pressing the line and playing tight against the Giants star receiver. On the final play of the third quarter, that all changed. Burress ran down the right sideline stride-for-stride with San Fran corner Bruce Thornton, and somehow managed to corral Eli Manning's deep ball with one hand.

The resulting 50-yard gain set the Giants up for the knockout blow, a Brandon Jacobs TD run five plays later.

"It gave us a spark," Burress said. "It was a slant-go. All I know is I tipped it to myself."

"Plaxico made a huge play down the right sideline," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "That gave us a real shot in the tail."

Burress caught five passes for 79 yards, but none was bigger than the 50-yarder.

"That got things going," Eli Manning said. "That really gave us a big lift. He had an unbelievable catch. That was the turning point in the game."

While Burress' grab drew plenty of oohs and ahhs, big, number 17 wasn't all that impressed.

"It was pretty good, I guess," he said. "But I've had better ones."

Burress, of course, wasn't the only receiving star on the afternoon. Jeremy Shockey turned in his own theatrics right before halftime to give the Giants a 10-0 lead. Clinging to a 3-0 lead and facing a fourth-and-one from the Niners 32 with only 23 seconds to play, Manning found a wide-open Shockey for the game's first touchdown.

"I think the defense thought it was a complete run," Shockey explained. "The majority of their team was in the box."

So Shockey snuck through the line of scrimmage, got behind the defense and laid out for the score, which needed to be reviewed before being confirmed.

"That was a big-time catch," Manning said.

Amani Toomer, who made an acrobatic grab to move New York inside the 1-yard line, set up the Giants final touchdown of the game.

"You need your playmakers to make plays," said Manning, who completed 18-of-33 passes for 251 yards.

New York's big three came through when needed most, and the second half of the season begins with the Giants on a three-game winning streak.

One tough cookie

After the game, Nick Greisen was still waiting to learn the extent of his rib injury. The official word was the Greisen, who had a pair of solo tackles and another on special teams, had ‘bruised ribs,' but he said he feared there might be a crack in at least one of his ribs. However, Greisen said it really didn't matter.

"Regardless, I'm not coming out," Greisen told TGI.

World Wide Entertainment

Brandon Jacobs got into the end zone twice in San Francisco, increasing his season total to 5 TDs scored. After the second touchdown, a beautiful run where Jacobs changed direction and was able to just walk into the end zone untouched, he performed a little dance.

"Everybody has their own dance," Jacobs said afterward. "It may not look too good, but the Ickey Shuffle didn't look good either."

Of course, Tom Coughlin was none too happy about it and said something to Jacobs when he came to the sideline.

"He was just giving me stuff about the dance," Jacobs said. "It wasn't anything."

Big Blue ends backup blues

It seems almost every time the Giants face an unheralded backup quarterback, they falter. That theory took a huge hit in San Francisco, where they limited little-known Cody Pickett to only 102 passing yards.

"He didn't cause any problems for us," Michael Strahan said. "Nothing that we couldn't handle."

On Sept. 7, 1997, injuries to Mark Brunell and Rob Johnson forced Coughlin, the coach in Jacksonville, to play Steve Matthews. In his only career start, Matthews completed 23-of-35 passes for 252 yards and the Jaguars owned the ball for 39:39 in a 40-13 victory.

Two years ago, an Atlanta Falcons team quarterbacked by Kurt Kittner beat the Giants, 27-7. And on Nov. 7, 2004, a 5-2 Giants team lost to the 2-5 Chicago Bears, whose quarterback was rookie Craig Krenzel.

Sidelines

Both Tim Lewis and Tom Coughlin were seen yelling at William Joseph as the team ran off the field at halftime. Joseph got into some foolish pushing and shoving with one of the Niners on the half's final play…

Eli Manning finally broke into the win column away from Giants Stadium.

"This was the first road win of my career and the first for our team this year," Manning said. "So this was an important one; this was big."…

The Giants defense has now gone nine consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown…

Antonio Pierce, Gibril Wilson and Osi Umenyiora turned in sacks for New York.

Medical report

Shaun Williams left the game with a reoccurrence of his hamstring injury. Both Jim Finn and Osi Umenyiora suffered bruised ribs, but returned. Kenderick Allen sprained his thigh and did not return.

Emmons no go again

Carlos Emmons' pectoral injury kept him out of Sunday's game. Reggie Torbor started in his place and finished with a game-high tying seven tackles. David Tyree's elbow left him on the inactive list, and Justin Tuck missed the contest with a sprained ankle. The rest of Big Blue's inactives were CB Will Peterson, G Rich Seubert, and rookie DEs Eric Moore and Adrian Awasom. Jared Lorenzen was the third quarterback. For the Niners, newly signed former Giant Jesse Palmer was the club's third QB.

Almost even

With the win, the Giants sliced the 49ers lead in the all-time series to 13-12. Of course, this was the Giants' first meeting with the 49ers since the 39-38 collapse in San Francisco in the 2002 NFC Wild Card Game. The teams last met in the regular season on Sept. 5, 2002, a 16-13 49ers victory. The Giants last played a regular season game in Monster Park on Nov. 30, 1998, a 31-7 Monday night loss. The Niners had won the last five games in the series – three regular season and two postseason games. Before Sunday, the Giants last beat San Francisco, 16-14, on Sept. 2, 1991.

Next up

The Giants return home to face off with the 3-5 Minnesota Vikings, who are coming off a home win over the Lions. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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