A week after allowing the Cleveland Browns offense to total 454 yards, the New York defense decided to be a little more stingy at Giants Stadium.
The defense had six sacks, forced one fumble and intercepted two J.T. O'Sullivan passes to lead the now 5-1 Giants to a 29-17 victory at home. The defense was downright dirty, focusing on Frank Gore and holding the leading rusher for the 49ers to only 11 yards on 11 carries.
Quarterback Eli Manning was held under 200 yards passing for his second consecutive game by San Francisco, but did hit Plaxico Burress for a score and had Brandon Jacobs behind him to do most of the work. Jacobs, splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw, rushed 17 times for 69 yards and two scores, leading the charge and putting the Giants at the top of the NFC.
Manning said after the game he felt the defense was the factor in the win.
"We're happy to be at 5-and-1," said Manning. "We've played some outstanding games, offensively and defensively. Today our defense played well. That's football and you're going to go through all sorts of situations. It's all about finding ways to win, to gut it out. That's what we did."
The 49ers now move to 2-5 after four straight losses to the meat of their schedule. Next week San Francisco hosts a Seattle team that is struggling mightily themselves, and then a much needed bye week. With word coming from the 49ers locker room that players aren't happy with O'Sullivan behind center, it would seem like a good time to make a change if there were other options. Sadly, O'Sullivan is all they've got with an offense that is struggling to score and a defense that is giving up a lot of points.
Sunday was a game to define both squads. Giants doubters can go back in their respective caves for the time being while hopeful 49er fans have next week to look forward to.