Keys to the Game
- Running to stand still. The Giants could not run the ball to save their lives, gaining 43 yards on 22 carries. Neither Tiki Barber nor Ron Dayne averaged even two yards per carry. "That's a good defense with a lot of speed," Barber said. "They could counter a lot of what we did."
- Sacked. The Giants thought they had a huge advantage in the Michael Strahan vs. former Giant Scott Gragg match-up. Strahan out-dueled Gragg but was never able to get his hands on Jeff Garcia. The Giants finished the game with no sacks.
- Discipline. New York constantly shot itself in the foot, with nine penalties accounting for 80 yards in losses. Big Blue had two big offensive plays called back due to foolish infractions.
- Turned over. With three giveaways and only one takeaway, the Giants fell to 6-23 under Jim Fassel when losing the turnover battle.
The Big Play
The Giants had just tied the 49ers in the game's final two minutes. Giants Stadium was rocking and Big Blue had all the momentum. Boy, that didn't last long. On San Francisco's first play from scrimmage, they sent WR Terrell Owens, who had been invisible to that point in the game, down the left seam.
He streaked through the zone that should have been patrolled by Dhani Jones, but Jones was playing too deep. That allowed Owens to take a short pass and turn it into a 33-yard gain all the way down to the New York 37-yard line, Moments later, Jose Cortez kicked the game-wining field goal.
"We held Terrell Owens for 59 minutes," Tiki Barber said. "Then he made one play. That's the play that beat us."
"We made an error and dropped some coverage," Jim Fassel said. "We should have had a guy underneath."
After the game, Jones, who had left the game briefly due to injury but returned, admitted he was at fault.
However, one teammate wasn't so sure.
"That was a bad defensive call," he said. "We should have been in dime. You can't leave a ‘backer on that guy [Owens] that late in the game."
Too late, the damage was already done.
- The Giants fell to 0-1 on the season and dropped their second consecutive season opener after winning four straight.
- San Francisco K Jose Cortez hit a 36-yard FG with six seconds to play.
- Kerry Collins threw for 342 yards, but had three INTs.
- Amani Toomer had a career-high tying nine catches for 134 yards.
- The ‘Niners lead the all-time regular-season series with New York, 13-11, and have won eight of the last nine contests.
- The Giants head to the Midwest to battle the mighty Rams in St. Louis on Sunday. Kickoff is 4:05 p.m.