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San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants: A Prospector's Guide

49ers_logo_medium  vs.  Th_giants_icon_medium

First off, thanks to grantmp for the suggestion of "A Prospector's Guide."  It fits in well with our Golden Nuggets links when they're rolled out.

The 49ers travel to New York to face the defending Super Bowl Champion Giants in what will be the 27th regular season contest between the two teams, dating back to 1952. The regular season series is tied at 13-13, but the two teams also have a storied history during postseason play, with the 49ers holding a 4-3 advantage over the Giants. Head Coach Mike Nolan’s ties to the Giants organization run deep, having served as the team’s defensive coordinator from 1993-96. His father, Dick, played nine seasons for the Giants (1954-57, 1959-61).

The upcoming game marks the second consecutive year that the 49ers have made the trip to New York. Last year, the 49ers fell to the Giants, 33-15, after New York scored 24 of its points on four San Francisco turnovers.

San Francisco is looking to snap a three-game losing streak after falling to the Philadelphia Eagles, 40-26, last week. San Francisco held a 26-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but three turnovers in the final quarter proved costly. RB Frank Gore rushed for 101 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown, marking his second 100-yard rushing game this season. He now has scored a touchdown in fi ve-of-six games this year. TE Vernon Davis caught a season-high six passes for 75 yards, including a career-long 57-yard reception. LB Takeo Spikes posted an interception for the third straight game.

After the jump, we've got a recap of the last season's matchup, along with some facts and stats about the teams...

Giants 33 - 49ers 15
The San Francisco 49ers fell to a 2-4 season record after a 33-15 loss to the New York Giants at Giants Stadium. The Giants scored 24 of their 33 points on four 49ers turnovers.  Three of San Francisco’s turnovers occurred inside their own 30-yard line. The other turnover happened when QB Trent Dilfer lost a fumble on an eight-yard sack by DE Osi Umenyiora after the 49ers reached the Giants 15-yard line early in the third quarter. Umenyiora scooped up the loose ball and raced 75 yards untouched for a touchdown.

After falling to a 19-7 halftime deficit, the 49ers took the second half kickoff and appeared to have things in place to get back into the game. A 47-yard pass from Dilfer to WR Ashley Lelie got the 49ers into Giants territory. The team reached the Giants 15-yard line before suffering their most costly turnover of the game to end the scoring threat on the Umenyiora sack play.

The Giants opened the game with a 13-play, 86-yard drive that was culminated with a four-yard touchdown pass from QB Eli Manning to WR Amani Toomer. The 49ers caught a break when the Giants missed the extra point attempt. The Giants moved the ball with ease on their next possession to the San Francisco 20-yard line before LB Derek Smith intercepted a deflected pass to end a Giants drive. The 49ers responded by moving to the Giants 18-yard line where RB Frank Gore converted a fourth-and-one situation to set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dilfer to WR Arnaz Battle. PK Joe Nedney’s successful extra point attempt gave the 49ers a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter.

The 49ers turned the ball over on the first play of each of their next two drives, leading to ten points for a 16-7 Giants lead. Dilfer and Gore fumbled the exchange on a handoff on a play from the San Francisco 30-yard line, and the Giants took over and scored a touchdown for a 13-7 lead. Then on the next series, Dilfer was intercepted, positioning the Giants for a field goal and a 16-7 advantage. The Giants were backed to their own 11-yard line with 1:35 to play in the first half when Manning and Toomer connected for a 24-yard gain to get to midfield. The Giants moved to the San Francisco 21-yard line with 21 seconds to play to set up a field goal and a 19-7 halftime lead.

The Giants extended their lead to 26-7 on the fumble return early in the third. The 49ers had another scoring chance after FB Moran Norris blocked a Giants punt out of the end zone for a safety, but the 49ers failed to capitalize on the ensuing series following the free kick. The 49ers first drive of the fourth quarter ended when Dilfer’s pass was intercepted by the Giants at the San Francisco 33-yard line, setting up a two-yard touchdown pass from Manning to TE Jeremy Shockey for a 33-9 lead. San Francisco added another touchdown on a one-yard throw from Dilfer to WR Darrell Jackson with 16 seconds to play for a 33-15 final.

2008 Statistics

49ers (rank) Giants (rank)
23.5 (t-12th) Points Per Game 28.2 (t-5th)
307.2 (19th) Total Offense Per Game 419.4 (1st)
113.7 (17th) Rushing Yards Per Game 181.2 (1st)
193.5 (19th) Net Passing Yards Per Game 238.2 (9th)
28:36 (23rd) Possession Average 32:14 (3rd)
27.8 (28th) Opp. Points Per Game 16.8 (5th)
350.2 (26th) Opp. Total Offense Per Game 279.6 (6th)
124.2 (22nd) Opp. Rushing YPG 94.4 (12th)
226.0 (20th) Opp. Net Passing YPG 185.2 (9th)
-5 (t-30th) Turnover Differential -2 (t-21st)