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The New York Giants defense dominated against the 49ers, earning them a 26-3 victory in a NFC Championship rematch.
The 49ers scored first in the first quarter, and that was their only score of the day. Alex Smith struggled completing 19-of-30 passes for 200 yards and threw three interceptions. Smith threw three interceptions for the fifth time in his eight year career. Smith has thrown interceptions in both losses this season for the 49ers. Back-up quarterback Collin Kaepernick completed four of seven passes for 82 yards.
San Francisco struggled running the ball as well. Running back Frank Gore carried the ball eight times for 36 yards. The rest of the running back core complied for nine carries for 44 yards. Randy Moss had two catches for 75 yards. Ex-Giant Mario Manningham caught five passes for 72 yards.
Eli Manning played mistake-free football, completing 15-of-28 yards for 193 yards for one touchdown. Manning’s one touchdown came in the second quarter to Victor Cruz. Cruz caught six passes for 58 yards. In Hakeem Nicks’ first game back from injury, he caught three passes for 44 yards. Wideout Domenik Hixon also caught four passes for 78 yards.
The New York Giants were able to open up the run game against a tough 49ers defense. Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 27 times for 116 yards and one touchdown. Bradshaw has ran for 100+ yards for two consecutive weeks.
The Giants had Smith on his heels, sacking him four times. Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks, Adrian Tracy and Linval Joseph both had one sack. Antrel Rolle led the Giants defense with six tackles. Rolle also had two interceptions, his first two of the season. Prince Amukamara also caught his first interception of the season.
New York is now atop the the NFC East Division with a 4-2 record with Philadelphia and Washington right behind them at 3-3. The Giants have a tough road ahead of them as they head into the heart of their schedule. The next two match-ups will be against divisional rivals the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. The Giants will be up against six teams who made the playoffs last year in their final 10 games.
Image Courtesy of AJ Guel Photography