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Rapid Reaction to the 49ers’ 36-9 Win Over the Giants

Matt Andruscavage
Sep 27, 2020 at 9:29 PM


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1) This team is deep!


Usually when a team is missing its starting quarterback, both starting running backs, its number one receiver, the best tight end in the league, the backup tight end, starting center, both of its best edge rushers, another starting defensive lineman, a starting linebacker, and its top three cornerbacks, that team isn't supposed to look very good.

That was not the case today as Nick Mullens and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers dominated the New York Giants, 36-9. Mullens started a little slow, but quickly found his rhythm and finished 25-36 for 343 yards and a touchdown. He looked confident and made several very good throws against the hapless Giants defense.

Other players of note who stepped up today included rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk, Kerry Hyder, Jason Verrett, Jerick McKinnon, Ross Dwelley, Javon Kinlaw, Dion Jordan, and Jeff Wilson Jr. Aiyuk showed flashes of why he was drafted as he runs beautiful routes, has good hands, and can run those end-arounds and jet sweeps like Deebo Samuel. Hyder continues to anchor the edge rushing attack and had another sack. Verrett did not give up much through the air and got in the mix in tackling. McKinnon scored again and provided that receiving threat out of the backfield that the 49ers have sorely needed. Dwelley was dependable as a blocker and receiver after Jordan Reed was hurt. Kinlaw had his best game and was disruptive much of the day. Jordan had a sack and a fumble recovery. Jeff Wilson scored twice and put away the game.

Despite all of the injuries, there is no shortage of quality talent that is able to step up when needed. That is a major credit to John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan for building an exceptional roster.

2) Flawless game plan


The 49ers clearly set out to dominate the time of possession, spread the ball around, and give their players many opportunities to make plays. San Francisco did not play "not to lose". Kyle Shanahan was able to set up his team with the ability to get long, methodical drives and finish them with scores and that's exactly what we saw, especially in the second half.

While the offense started off a bit slow, it was able to generate enough points until Jerick McKinnon capped off a 12-play, 75-yard drive to extend the lead to 13-6 late in the second quarter. After a great interception by Fred Warner, the 49ers took control with another field goal and led by 10 at halftime.

Shanahan's game-plan was executed to perfection in the second half as Brandon Aiyuk took over, catching two passes for 25 yards, and then taking an all too familiar reverse 19 yards for a score. Getting Aiyuk involved in the running attack was huge as McKinnon and Wilson were not able to find a lot of room. The Niners needed some kind of ground game to give Mullens a real chance to work off play action and he was able to, especially in the second half.

After that drive, it was over. The 49ers would score two more times before kneeling on the ball on their final drive. On defense, the pressure was generated, turnovers were forced, and there was no real liability, even with all the injuries. Dontae Johnson struggled, but made an important stop in the first half and even recovered a fumble. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh deserves a lot of credit for the defensive game he called as well. In short, the coaching staff was terrific today.

3) The rest


- Long snapper Kyle Nelson had some struggles today. By my count, there were four poor snaps and it cost the 49ers 4 points. While it's not a huge concern, this was probably just a bad day by one of San Francisco's most consistent players.

- Kendrick Bourne has really blossomed into a reliable receiver. He continually finds ways to get open, especially in big situations, as he finished with 4 catches for 63 yards on six targets.

- San Francisco dominated the time of possession 39:44 to 20:16, committed no turnovers, and had 29 first downs to New York's 13. This was a beating.

- Injuries today included Jordan Reed (knee and ankle), Emmanuel Moseley (concussion), and linebacker Mark Nzeocha (quad). There are no details at this point, but Shanahan was optimistic that Reed's was not long term.

- The Rams and Cardinals lost, which is always good news.

Next up are the 0-2-1 Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football at Levi's Stadium. George Kittle should make his return and there is a chance Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, and Deebo Samuel follow suit.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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