Giants 24, 49ers 6

Preview | Box Score | Recap

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Though Jeremy Shockey and Michael Strahan had miserable memories of Candlestick Park, Eli Manning was still in college when the New York Giants’ last trip to the playoffs ended here in a historic collapse.

The young quarterback thought the old building was an excellent place to get his first true road victory.

Manning passed for 251 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Jacobs rushed for two short fourth-quarter scores and the Giants’ defense yielded just 138 total yards in a 24-6 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Plaxico Burress had five catches for 79 yards in the third straight victory for the Giants (6-2), who maintained their lead in the NFC East by suffocating the 49ers’ offense, which hasn’t scored a touchdown in its last 13 quarters at home.

The Giants’ offense also floundered for long stretches against San Francisco’s solid defense, but a handful of big throws by Manning led to scores.

“We just had to get the ball in our receivers’ hands and let them be the athletes,” said Manning, who had been 0-5 in games outside Giants Stadium; New York beat New Orleans at the Meadowlands in Week 2, technically a Saints home game after Hurricane Katrina damaged the Superdome. “We had to figure out a way not to hurt ourselves, and mostly we avoided that. We had too many mistakes, but they didn’t end up hurting us.”

That wasn’t always the case in San Francisco. Just 11 Giants are left from one of the club’s most infamous postseason defeats: On Jan. 5, 2003, New York allowed San Francisco to rally from a 24-point deficit in the second half of a 39-38 wild-card victory.

It was the second-biggest collapse in NFL playoff history, and New York hasn’t been back to the postseason or Candlestick since. But while the 49ers are 10-31 since that win, the Giants have rebuilt themselves into a postseason contender behind Manning, who was 18-of-33 and threw a TD pass in his ninth straight game.

Shockey, who dropped a pass in the end zone during the second half of that playoff loss in San Francisco, stretched full-length to catch a 32-yard scoring pass 13 seconds before halftime.

“It was wide open, and there was no one there,” Shockey said of his TD catch—not the ball he dropped two seasons ago. “I have never seen that look in my whole career, and I probably will never see it again. It was a completely busted coverage.”

Burress made a stunning one-handed, 50-yard catch on the final play of the third quarter, and Jacobs rushed for a 1-yard score moments later. Amani Toomer then made a 23-yard catch near the goal line, setting up another 1-yard TD run.

Cody Pickett, the 49ers’ fourth starting quarterback in five games, made few mistakes in his first start. But he couldn’t spark anything behind San Francisco’s comically inept offensive line, which committed several penalties and rarely allowed Pickett a moment’s peace.

“Cody did a great job with the plays, but it’s tough getting the timing down when you don’t have the same quarterback in practice every week,” receiver Brandon Lloyd said of Pickett, who went 12-of-21 for 102 yards.

”(Pickett) didn’t cause any problems for us,” Strahan said. “It seemed like every time he dropped back, we were successful in putting some pressure on him and hitting him.”

Joe Nedney kicked two field goals for the Niners (2-6), who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The 49ers’ offense briefly got going late in the first half, with Pickett scrambling for two first downs before Lloyd took the crowd’s breath away with a one-handed, behind-the-head catch inside the New York 5.

But struggling left tackle Anthony Clement was called for holding on the play—and after consecutive false starts by the line, Pickett’s long pass was intercepted by Brent Alexander.

Manning quickly hit Shockey twice for the Giants’ first TD.

“It is a lack of focus and concentration,” 49ers coach Mike Nolan said of the penalties. “Emotion is a huge part of the game, and you can’t let emotions get the better of you. There’s not a tremendous amount of noise at home. Today, (false starts are) inexcusable.”

San Francisco scored on Nedney’s 48-yard field goal early in the second half, ending nearly 108 scoreless minutes for the Giants’ defense, which shut out Washington last week. Nedney hit a 52-yarder several minutes later.

Notes

San Francisco got four of its nine first downs on penalties. … Back judge Don Dorkowski injured his calf during the second half, and the game was finished with six officials. … The Niners had just 10 men on the field for the game’s first play—a 28-yard catch by Shockey.

Related Articles

Top Performers

 Top Performers
 NY Giants
B. Jacobs B. Jacobs RB
5 Rush, 3 yds
2 TDs
 San Francisco
K. Barlow K. Barlow RB
10 Rush, 4 yds

Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards

Scoreboard

Preseason
  Thursday, Aug 18  
  New Orleans
New England 37
27 Final
      Friday, Aug 19  
  Tennessee
Atlanta 24
21 Final
     
  Cincinnati
Washington 24
17 Final
     
  Minnesota
NY Jets 21
28 Final
      Saturday, Aug 20  
  Cleveland
Detroit 21
13 Final
     
  Green Bay
Buffalo 7
27 Final
     
  Jacksonville
Tampa Bay 20
17 Final
     
  Miami
Pittsburgh 3
17 Final
     
  Philadelphia
Baltimore 20
14 Final
     
  Carolina
NY Giants 21
27 Final
     
  Chicago
Indianapolis 24
17 Final
     
  Oakland
Houston 17
19 Final
     
  Arizona
Kansas City 24
17 Final
     
  San Francisco
Denver 21
26 Final
      Sunday, Aug 21  
  St. Louis
San Diego 21
36 Final
      Monday, Aug 22  
  Dallas
Seattle 18
10 Final