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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Mullens leads injury-plagued 49ers to 36-9 win over Giants

Sep 27, 2020 at 1:04 PM


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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
SF 6 10 7 13 36
NYG 0 6 3 0 9

No Jimmy Garoppolo, or Nick Bosa, or Richard Sherman, or George Kittle, or Raheem Mostert, or Tevin Coleman, or Dee Ford, or Deebo Samuel? No problem for the San Francisco 49ers, who rode their backups to a dominant 36-9 win over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday.

The 49ers were spurred on by a fine performance from backup quarterback Nick Mullens, who threw for 343 yards and one touchdown on 25 of 36 passing in his first start since 2018. Also chipping in with a big performance for the 49ers was rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who carried the ball three times for 31 yards and a touchdown while adding five catches for 70 yards.

As it happened


The 49ers got on the scoreboard first, turning a 10-play, 41-yard drive on the game's opening possession into a 52-yard field goal from Robbie Gould. The drive featured two jet sweep handoffs to Aiyuk for 12 yards, as well as a 20-yard completion from Mullens to wide receiver Trent Taylor on a third-and-six play.

The 49ers got the ball right back on the following possession when a botched pitch attempt from Giants quarterback Daniel Jones at his own 42-yard line was recovered by defensive lineman Dion Jordan. Mullens followed the turnover by leading the offense to a first-and-goal at the five-yard line, but a third-down illegal-use-of-hands penalty on offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill that negated a touchdown followed by an incomplete pass attempt in the end zone on the next play forced the 49ers to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Gould and a 6-0 lead with 1:05 remaining in the first quarter.

The Giants responded with a field goal of their own -- a 52-yard strike from kicker Graham Gano -- to cut the lead to 6-3 with 13:32 remaining in the second quarter. The kick capped a seven-play, 41-yard drive that was sparked by a 19-yard run from Jones.

Gano went on to tie the score at six halfway through the second quarter on a 42-yard field goal to finish a six-play, 31-yard drive. That possession came after a missed 55-yard field goal from Gould at the end of a nine-play, 38-yard drive by the 49ers.

The first touchdown of the game came at the end of a 12-play, 75-yard drive with just over a minute left in the second quarter when running back Jerick McKinnon ran the ball in from 10 yards out to give the 49ers a 13-6 lead. The 49ers were able to capitalize on a costly error on that drive from Giants rookie cornerback Darnay Holmes, who gave the 49ers a first down after being flagged for illegal contact on a third-and-22 play.


The 49ers were able to add a late second-quarter field goal to stretch their lead to 16-6 after an interception by linebacker Fred Warner set up possession at the Giants' 32-yard line. A nifty 26-yard pass from Mullens to McKinnon on the next play set up the 49ers with a first-and-goal, but they had to settle for a field goal after a 10-yard penalty for an illegal block was called on wide receiver Trent Taylor.


The 49ers dominated time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for 22 minutes and 26 seconds against 7:34 for the Giants, while Mullens threw for 187 yards on 14 of 24 passing. The 49ers outgained the Giants 221 to 100 in the half, while holding a 16-6 edge in first downs.

The Giants received the second-half kickoff and turned some of their time-of-possession problems around with a 13-play drive that took six minutes and 54 seconds off the clock. But the 49ers held firm in Giants territory and limited the outcome to a 47-yard field goal from Gano, which cut the lead to 16-9.

Any momentum the Giants built on that drive was quickly put to rest on the next possession, which saw the 49ers move the ball 75 yards on eight plays to take a 23-9 lead on a 19-yard touchdown run from Aiyuk. Aiyuk also caught three passes on the drive for 39 yards.


The 49ers were able to put some distance between themselves and the Giants from there, starting with a turnover on downs on the next possession that gave their offense the ball at the Giants' 30-yard line. Mullens connected with running back Jeff Wilson four plays later from 19 yards out for his first touchdown pass of the day and a 29-9 lead after the point after attempt went awry due to a poor snap from veteran long snapper Kyle Nelson, who experienced a surprising amount of snapping issues throughout the game.


Wilson added the final 49ers touchdown of the game with 3:35 left in the fourth quarter, this time on a two-yard run to finish off a 15-play, 92-yard drive.


The 49ers outgained the Giants 420-231 on the day while notching 29 first downs to the Giants' 13. Jones finished with 197 yards and one interception on 17 of 32 passing. Jones also led the Giants with 49 rushing yards on five carries.

The 49ers (2-1) will now return to the Bay Area, where they will face the Philadelphia Eagles at Levi's Stadium next Sunday in their first primetime game of the season (8:20 p.m. EDT/5:20 p.m. PDT). The Giants (0-3) head to the West Coast in Week 4 to face the Rams (2-1) in Los Angeles next Sunday (4:05 p.m. EDT/1:05 p.m. PDT).


SF Team Stats NYG
420 Total Yards 231
327 Passing Yards 165
93 Rushing Yards 66
9.5 Avg Yards per Pass 5.6
2.7 Avg Yards per Run 4.4
0 Fumbles Lost 2
0 Int Thrown 1
2 Sacks Allowed 2
39:44 Time of Pos 20:16
6 Penalties 5

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Nick Mullens 25/36 343 1 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Jerick McKinnon 14 38 2.7 1
Brandon Aiyuk 3 31 10.3 1
Jeff Wilson 12 15 1.3 1
JaMycal Hasty 2 9 4.5 0
Nick Mullens 4 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 5 8 70 0
Kendrick Bourne 4 6 63 0
Jeff Wilson 3 3 54 1
Ross Dwelley 4 4 49 0
Jerick McKinnon 3 4 39 0
Jordan Reed 2 6 23 0
Trent Taylor 1 1 20 0
Mohamed Sanu 1 1 9 0
JaMycal Hasty 1 1 9 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 1 7 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Robbie Gould 3 4 52 3
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
K'Waun Williams 3-2 0 0 0
Marcell Harris 3-1 0 0 2
Fred Warner 2-5 0 1 0
Jimmie Ward 2-2 0 0 0
Jason Verrett 2-1 0 0 0
Jaquiski Tartt 2-1 0 0 0
Arik Armstead 2-1 0 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 2-0 0 0 0
Tarvarius Moore 1-1 0 0 0
Javon Kinlaw 1-1 0 0 0
Dontae Johnson 1-1 0 0 0
Dion Jordan 1-1 1 0 0
Kerry Hyder 1-1 1 0 0
JaMycal Hasty 1-0 0 0 0
Azeez Al-Shaair 1-0 0 0 0
Kwon Alexander 1-0 0 0 0

Giants Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Daniel Jones 17/32 179 0 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Daniel Jones 5 49 9.8 0
Devonta Freeman 5 10 2 0
Wayne Gallman 4 7 1.8 0
Dion Lewis 1 0 0 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Darius Slayton 3 7 53 0
Golden Tate 5 7 36 0
Damion Ratley 1 2 29 0
Evan Engram 3 5 22 0
Kaden Smith 1 2 13 0
Dion Lewis 1 3 10 0
C.J. Board 1 2 9 0
Wayne Gallman 2 3 7 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Kaden Smith 1 0
Damion Ratley 1 0
Darius Slayton 1 1
Daniel Jones 1 1
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Graham Gano 3 3 52 0
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Riley Dixon 1 54 1 54
Kickoff Returns Yds Avg TDs Lg
Corey Ballentine 52 17.3 0 18
Kaden Smith 5 5 0 5
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Blake Martinez 4-5 1 0 0
Isaac Yiadom 4-4 0 0 0
Logan Ryan 4-3 0 0 0
Oshane Ximines 3-2 0 0 0
Dalvin Tomlinson 3-2 0 0 0
Leonard Williams 2-3 1 0 0
Kyler Fackrell 2-2 0 0 0
Darnay Holmes 2-1 0 0 0
James Bradberry 2-1 0 0 0
Lorenzo Carter 2-0 0 0 0
Julian Love 10-1 0 0 0
Devante Downs 1-3 0 0 0
Jabrill Peppers 1-1 0 0 0
B.J. Hill 1-1 0 0 0
Ryan Lewis 1-0 0 0 0
Evan Engram 1-0 0 0 0


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