Photo by 49ers/Twitter
Santa Clara, CA – They almost had it in the bag but Eli Manning did something we haven’t seen in years. Manning led a game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth on Monday night. It couldn’t have been a bigger stage to prove he still has it.
The Giants 27-23 win over the 49ers gave them hope that their season isn’t over yet. But for San Francisco winning game two of the season is just that, two games won with much more work to go and they’re not satisfied.
New York needed this win to salvage their losing season while the 49ers keep fighting through a copious amount of injuries using third string quarterback, Nick Mullens to lead the team. If you didn’t look at either teams record, it was a pretty competitive game.
Odell Beckham addresses if this win tonight will salvage the Giants season:
Manning looked more like the quarterback of years past when he found Sterling Shephard in the end zone for the 3-yard touchdown with .53 seconds left on the clock. A gutsy move by Manning and a great play by Shephard who made the leaping catch over his defenders.
That put the Giants back in the lead with little time left for San Francisco. But don’t count out the 49ers. A field goal wouldn’t be enough for the win, so Mullens drove his offense down field as time expires. With a .01 left in the game, Mullens spiked the ball to stop the clock.
There was only one option, go deep. San Francisco was at New York’s 21 yard line and Mullens threw it up hoping Kendrick Bourne would come down with it but instead the ball landed out of bounds in the hands of a Giants defender. The 49ers lost another tough one at home as they head into the Bye week.
Kyle Shanahan on the final drive and the loss tonight:
Matt Breida recorded a career-high 17 carries for 101 yards and one touchdown, marking his second career-high 100-yard game. Breida became the first 49ers player to record at least one rushing and one receiving touchdown in the same game since WR Bruce Ellington on 12/29/14 vs the San Diego Chargers.
Mullens completed 27 of 39 attempts for 250 yards and one touchdown. In two starts, Mullens has thrown 512 yards, marking the most by a 49ers quarterback in his first two starts with the teams since the merger in 1970.
“We just have to finish on both sides of the ball,” said Breida on late game drives. “As an offense, I feel like we have to score and as a defense, I feel like we have to stop them. So, it’s no one person’s fault, it’s the whole teams. We just have to come back, grind and put everything together.”
Brieda’s 3-yard touchdown put San Francisco up 10-7 before Aldrick Rosas kicked a 20-yard field goal to tie the game 10-10 late in the second quarter. Robbie Gould gave the 49ers a 13-7 lead to end the first half with a 36-yard field goal. San Francisco kept the momentum going when Mullens found Breida for an 11-yard touchdown extending their lead 20-10 to start the third quarter.
But Manning went deep in the end zone where Beckham attempted to make a circus leaping one-handed catch but could not control the ball. The Giants ran the same play with Manning going back to Beckham for the 20-yard touchdown pass. Rosas’ 31-yard field goal tied the game again 20-20.
“That’s been the story of the season,” DL DeForest Buckner said on stopping Manning. “We have to finish. I know we had some calls in the last drive against the defense, but we still need to find a way to make a play. Anybody. I personally need to make a play and try to get pressure on Eli. That’s everybody around on all levels. The DB’s, the linebackers, the defense. Everybody has to be held accountable. The defense could’ve won that game for us.”
“We are 2-8. Obviously, we could be better,” said George Kittle. “This loss stings. It is not fun losing at home on Monday Night and going into a bye. Adversity is what brings a team together. I know how cliché that sounds, but it is true. We are going to bounce back and ball out next game.”