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49ers defense steps up in a big way, and it was a good day

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are on their way back to the Bay Area following an ugly 16-10 win over the New York Giants. It was ugly, but as they say, an ugly win is still a win. The 49ers improved to 6-4, and moved into a tie with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. They remain three games back of the Arizona Cardinals, but the win moves them a game back of four different 7-3 teams.

The 49ers offense continues to struggle to get anything going consistently. It is incredibly frustrating, because there is so much talent on that side of the ball. It is easy to get pissed off at this group, but I try and remain positive in part because of the talent level. I like to think that each win buys the offensive coaching staff more time to figure out whatever the heck is the problem.

The good news is the 49ers defense is doing some great work. They lose players each week, and somehow just keep dominating. Chris Borland had two interceptions and a sack, and is likely a front-runner for another Rookie of the Week award. More importantly, the pass rush put together its best effort in some time. They only had two sacks, but Aldon Smith and Aaron Lynch were getting consistent pressure. Add in Aldon Smith getting double- and triple-teamed in his first game back, and things are moving in the right direction on that side of the ball.

With the Win...

  • The 49ers improved to 21-9 on the road in the regular season under head coach Jim HarbaughSan Francisco's .700 winning pct. on the road is the best in the NFL over that time span.
  • The 49ers won back-to-back road games in which both contests started at 10:00 a.m. PT for the second time under head coach Jim Harbaugh [at Cin. (9/25/11) and at Phi. (10/2/11)].
  • Since 2011, San Francisco is 10-2 in games starting at 10:00 am PT.
  • The 49ers improved to 19-19 against the New York Giants all-time.
  • The 49ers improved to 2-1 against the Giants in the regular season under head coach Jim Harbaugh in the regular season.
  • Since 2011...
    • The 49ers improved to 7-2 against the NFC East.
    • The 49ers improved to 31-12-1 vs. the NFC.
    • The 49ers improved to 8-4-1 in the month of November.

Defense Gets Picky

  • The 49ers defense registered 5 INTs against Giants QB Eli Manning. This marked the first time the 49ers have notched 5 INTs in a game since 11/12/09 vs. Chi. (5 INTs - QB Jay Cutler).
  • LB Chris Borland recorded 2 INTs, the first and second of his career. He became the first 49ers LB to register 2-or-more INTs in a game since LB Ken Norton Jr. had 2 at StL (10/22/95).
  • Borland's INT was the first by a 49ers rookie LB since 1/6/02 at NO (LB Jamie Winborn picked off Saints QB Aaron Brooks).
  • LB Michael Wilhoite picked off Manning in the red zone, marking his first career INT.
  • Eric Reid tallied his 2nd INT of the season, 6th of his career, picking off Manning.
  • CB Chris Culliver picked off Manning to mark his 2nd INT of the season, 5th of his career. Including his INT last week at NO (11/9/14), Culliver has registered an INT in consecutive weeks for the first time in his career.

Linebackers Showing Off Their Hands

  • With INTs by both LB Chris Borland and LB Michael Wilhoite, it marked the first the 49ers had two LBs register an INT in the same game since 11/12/95 at Dal. (LB Rickey Jackson and LB Lee Woodall).

Applying The Pressure

  • DT Ray McDonald sacked and stripped the ball from Giants QB Eli Manning. It marked his fist sack of the season and 17.5 of his career. It also marked McDonald's first FF of the season and 4th of his career.
  • LB Aaron Lynch also brought down Manning, marking his 3rd sack of the season.

Rushing In To The History Books

  • RB Frank Gore had 19 carries for 95 yards to move past RB Thomas Jones and RB Jamal Lewis for the 22nd most rushing yards in NFL history.

Most Career Rushing Yards, NFL History




Warrick Dunn



Ricky Watters



Frank Gore



Jamal Lewis



Thomas Jones


12,000 For Boldin

  • WR Anquan Boldin registered 5 receptions for 53 yards on the day. He now has 12,032 career receiving yards, becoming the 24th player in NFL history to reach 12,000 rec. yards

Catch & Run

  • WR Michael Crabtree scored on a 48-yd. catch and run from QB Colin Kaepernick. It marked Crabtree's 4th TD of the season and 26th of his career.

Extending The Streak

  • QB Colin Kaepernick completed 15 of 29 pass atts. for 193 yards and 1 TD. He has now thrown at least one TD pass in 17 straight games, the 2nd longest streak by a quarterback in franchise history. [Steve Young - 18: (10/9/94 - 11/26/95)].

Dawson Hits 3

  • Phil Dawson connected on all 3 FGAs (31, 37, 44) in the first half. This marks the 8th time Dawson has hit 3-or-more FGs in the first half [last time: 12/8/13 vs. Sea. (23, 48, 52)].