In advance of the Giants and 49ers playing their 37th game all-time against each other, GmenHq will be highlighting some of the posts from the week leading up to the NFC Championship game last year. This post details Giants versus 49ers from January 5, 2003. This post originally appeared on Gmenhq on Jan 21, 2012 at 8:55am
In anticipation of the New York Giants versus the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday for the NFC Championship, GmenHq will be reliving the Giants versus 49ers playoff history. Each day this week (Monday-Saturday will feature a new game).
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers, January 5, 2003, 3-Com Park (Candlestick Park)
The seventh and most recent Play-Off match up between the Giants and 49ers game on a sunny day in 2003. The Giants entered the Wild-Card matchup against the 49ers with a 10-6 record. The 49ers also entered the game with a 10-6 record and were winners of the NFC West. This game signified the first time in nearly ten years since the Giants and 49ers had met in the play-offs. The last time the two teams met in the Play-Offs was in the 1993-1994 Play-Offs were the 49ers dominated the Giants.
Most Giants fans vividly remember this play-off game. The Giants and 49ers played to a 7-7 tie at the end of the first quarter. The Giants dominated the 49ers in the second quarter. Beyond outscoring them 21-0 and taking a 28-7 half-time lead, the Giants also out-gained the 49ers almost 3:1 in the second quarter. The Giants eventually extended their lead to 38-14 with roughly five minutes to go in the third quarter. Then the unthinkable happened. The Giants collapsed. The played like the Mets in September. Shockey ran his mouth and dropped a TD pass. The defense couldn’t stop Jeff Garcia. The Giants couldn’t snap the ball. Referees blew calls. Eventually the Giants lost the game. The 49ers outscored the Giants 25-0 in the final 18-20 minutes of the game. The Giants lost the game 39-38 (notice how I said the Giants lost as opposed to the 49ers won).
The Giants were paced on offense by Kerry Collins. Kerry worked the ball up and down the field with ease at moments (until the second half). Collins ended up completing 29 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. Collins did throw one interception that cost the Giants. Tiki Barber rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown. Tiki also caught five balls out of the backfield for 62 yards. Just like Kerry Collins, Tiki was dominate in the first half and shrunk away when it mattered most. The well dressed Armani Toomer had eight catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns. However, he was unable to get open late in the game to help the Giants sustain a drive. We all remember the botched snap at the end-of-the game. However, the Giants should of never! ever! gotten to that point. If Mr. Shockey catches the TD pass, the GIANTS never loose this game!
The 49ers were led by Jeff Garcia, Terrell Owens, and Garrison Hearst. Jeff Garcia completed 27 passes for 341 yards and three touchdown passes. The majority of his yards and completions came in the third and fourth quarters. Terrell Owens made big play after big play against the Giants. He had nine catches for 177 yards and two HUGE TD catches! The Giants defense also had difficulties controlling Eric Johnson who had eight catches for 78 yards. The lone bright spot for the Giants defense was their ability to control Garrison Hearst. Hearst was held to 15 yards on six carries. However, Jeff Garcia did gain 60 yards with his feet. Some of those yards came on third down scampers which helped to break the Giants defensive will.
All-Time Play-Off Series: 49ers 4-3 (Giants 1-4 at Candlestick and 2-0 at Giants Stadium)