Hey now, it’s a W! The San Francisco 49ers got head coach Kyle Shanahan his first career victory, beating the New York Giants by a final score of 31-21. The 49ers improve to 1-9, while the Giants drop to 1-8. No word yet on if Ben McAdoo has to pay for his own flight back to New Jersey.
The 49ers struggled early, with the teams exchanging field goals, turnovers, and penalties. The Giants led 6-3 after the first quarter, but the 49ers offense got going midway through the second quarter. C.J. Beathard found Marquise Goodwin behind the Giants secondary, and the pitch and catch turned into an 83-yard touchdown.
The Giants responded with a touchdown drive of their own to take a 13-10 lead, but that was it for New York. The 49ers scored 21 unanswered points in one of their best performances of the season. C.J. Beathard completed 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Carlos Hyde had 98 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Matt Breida had 55 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.
The defense showed up well aside from the touchdown drive and the late touchdown. They bent early and held the Giants to a pair of field goals. But after the Giants second quarter touchdown, the defense locked down for the most part. They sent constant pressure at Eli Manning, and we saw solid work from the secondary. They played like a defense with a big lead and it was fun to watch.
There will be plenty to break down from this game, but let’s keep one thing in perspective. The Giants stink. I mean, they’re a really bad team. So bad that it would not be at all surprising to see Ben McAdoo get fired after this performance. This is not to take away from the 49ers executing. They faced a bad team and took care of business. That’s important, and when you’re winless, any win is a good win. On the one hand, they beat a bad team, on the other hand, we saw some crisp execution after a slow start to the game.
I’m not going to pretend this team can clearly beat Seattle after the bye, but there are a lot of positives to take away from this game. It’s a nice step forward for a team that has played in fits and starts all season long. It does cost the 49ers a little draft positioning in the bigger picture, but yes, I’ll take a W.
Up next: Bye then Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers have a pretty big week coming up, even without an opponent on the slate. They will have a bye in Week 11, and then host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. Getting healthy will be important, but this also could represent a quarterback change. C.J. Beathard put together a strong game against the Giants, but Jimmy Garoppolo seems a decent bet to take over as quarterback fairly soon. The game after the bye week makes the most sense, but we’ll likely have to wait on an answer.