“Thursday Night Football” doesn’t always guarantee the crispiest plays, but this latest showdown between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants (1-2) was a true spectacle.
It marked the 13th consecutive regular-season victory for the 49ers, extending their impressive streak into the year 2022. To kick off the season, the 49ers’ offense delivered a solid 30 points in their third consecutive game, securing victory in all three matchups.
NFL research highlights that the 49ers have joined a rare group, becoming only the third team in NFL history to start a season 3-0 while scoring the same number of points in each game, alongside the 2007 New England Patriots (38 points) and the 1936 Pittsburgh Pirates (10 points).
The 49ers initially converted six out of eight third downs and completed a 16-to-9 score turnaround. They outgained the Giants with a whopping 291 more yards, played 32 more offensive snaps than the Giants, and held possession of the ball for a total of 39 minutes and 10 seconds.
Running back Christian McCaffrey extended his impressive touchdown streak to a remarkable 12 consecutive games, surpassing the franchise record established by Hall of Famer Jerry Rice back in 1987. McCaffrey’s performance saw him gain 85 rushing yards from 18 carries, and he received valuable support from backup running back Elijah Mitchell, who contributed with 42 yards gained from 11 carries.
The San Francisco team faced some challenges in the first two weeks, missing their star receiver Brandon Aiyuk. However, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, known for his yards-after-catch prowess, posted 129 receiving yards on six catches (12 targets). After a brief sideline hiatus due to a gust of wind, he returned to catch a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Party.
Party, known for his accuracy, completed 25 of 37 passes for 310 passing yards, marking his career-best performance in a regular-season game. According to Next Gen Stats, Party scored 20-for-31 on passes beyond 247 yards against the blitz. With less than two minutes remaining, backup Sam Darnold provided relief to the second-year starter, whose career record now stands at 13-2.
Rookie Ronnie Bell widened the lead with an 11-play, 72-yard drive in the second quarter, scoring the game’s first touchdown and bringing the score to 10-3. Kicker Jake Moody, a fellow rookie, made all three of his field goal attempts (28, 21, 36). Giants kicker Graham Gano added a 57-yarder before halftime, making it a 17-6 ballgame.
Without key members like Saquon Barkley and the early attacking line, the Giants managed a total of 25 rushing yards, including Left Tackle Andrew Thomas. They will eventually return to the East Coast after an extended journey out west, which began with a comeback win against the Arizona Cardinals with a score of 21 points on Sunday.
Talanoa Hufanga ensured the 49ers’ victory with his first interception of the game.
Talanoa Hufanga recorded the game’s first interception.
The 49ers defense thwarted Daniel Jones’ pass to deter Darren Waller. Jones attempted a forceful pass to Waller on third down, and the football sailed high into the air. Hufanga, who was in the right place at the right time, caught the ball in the air to make the interception.
49ers 30, Giants 12: Deebo Samuel Looks Just Right
Deebo Samuel had a significant impact in the fourth quarter.
After a 19-yard catch and run, Samuel had to be examined by the 49ers medical staff when he fell to the ground. After a brief moment on the sidelines, he was able to leave the field under his own power.
After a few plays, Samuel returned to the check-in and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brock Party, extending San Francisco’s lead to 30-12.
Catch After Catch, Deebo Samuel Shines
Versatile wide receiver Deebo Samuel required medical attention from the 49ers’ medical staff.
Early in the fourth quarter, after a 19-yard catch and run, Samuel fell to the ground, requiring medical attention. Samuel left the field under his own power after spending some moments on the field. Samuel returned to the game in the same series.
49ers 23, Giants 12: San Francisco Adds Another Field Goal
To end the third quarter, George Kittle made a 29-yard catch-and-run along the sideline, bringing the 49ers into Giants territory. Later in the drive, he had another catch, but the drive stalled once again, and Jake Moody kicked his third field goal of the game from 29 yards out. With 12:51 remaining in the game, San Francisco led 23-12.
49ers 20, Giants 12: San Francisco Responds with a Field Goal
Starting the second half, the 49ers’ offense got back on track after three straight outs.
Deebo Samuel broke several tackles after a catch and had the first play of the drive go for 40 yards. He now has a maximum of four catches (on 10 targets) and 83 receiving yards.
With San Francisco facing third and eight from the Giants’ eight-yard line, a pass interference penalty on K’Waun Williams gave San Francisco a fresh set of downs. They moved the ball closer to the goal line, but the Giants’ defense held firm and kept them out of the end zone. Robbie Gould kicked a 21-yard field goal with 4:08 left in the third quarter to make the score 20-10.
49ers 17, Giants 12: Matt Breida Finally Takes New York Into the Red Zone
Matt Breida had a little revenge against his former team.
Trailing by a touchdown, the Giants attempted an onside kick, and the ball went out of bounds. Breida’s eight-yard run in the red zone came after a penalty for illegal contact on Giants cornerback Sam Beal, who faced Kevin Thibodeaux in third and eighth for the 49ers.
Breida’s touchdown marked the first TD of the game for New York, and after a failed two-point conversion attempt by the Giants, the score was 17-12.
Breida had four rushes, 17 yards, and one touchdown in the game. The 28-year-old running back played for the 49ers from 2017-2019.
Christian McCaffrey Matches Jerry Rice’s Touchdown Streak Record
Christian McCaffrey is in good company.
In the second quarter, McCaffrey’s four-yard touchdown run marked his 12th consecutive game (regular season or playoffs) with a touchdown, in which he reached the end zone in the red zone. This equals the franchise record set by wide receiver Jerry Rice in 1987.