It was a first half of momentum shifts as the Giants head into halftime with a 10-3 lead over the 49ers. The Giants were in position to put 3 more points up in the final minute of the half, however Lawrence Tynes had his FG attempt blocked by Tarrell Brown. A coaching miscalculation by Tom Coughlin almost cost the Giants as he called a time out during that Giants drive too early which lead to the 49ers having more time on the game clock than they should have. However, David Akers couldn’t connect from 52 yards on a field goal attempt as time expired on the first half.
Because the Giants were able to keep the 49ers defense honest in the first half with the running game, Eli Manning was able to attack through the air with success. Manning connected twice with Domenik Hixon on 2 big passes that helped set up a 6 yard TD pass to Victor Cruz to give the Giants their first points of the day. Hixon had a great first half with 4 catches for 78 yards, including a trememdous diving catch towards the end of the half where he was able to secure his hand underneath the ball and keep it from hitting the ground. The 49ers defense looked completely thrown off by the pinpoint passing attack of Manning.
Defense Hanging Tough
The Giants defense struggled early to keep up with Alex Smith and the 49ers offense, however they showed a bend-don’t-break mentality and limited the 49ers to 3 points. The pass rush has been much more consistent than last week against Cleveland. They just have not been able to get to Alex Smith yet. CB Prince Amukamara continues his impressive play of late with a big interception of Smith that shut down a potential 49ers scoring drive.
Former Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham continues to emerge as Alex Smith’s go-to target with 4 catches for 64 yards in the first half. However tight end Vernon Davis has been limited to 1 catch so far.
Eli Manning will be looking to continue his success with the passing game against the 49ers defense. It’ll be interesting to see what adjustments head coach Jim Harbaugh makes to try and slow that down.