The San Francisco 49ers got a complete team effort in a dominating 36-9 win over the lowly New York Giants. Despite missing several players, including Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa, George Kittle and Richard Sherman, the Niners looked like a contender in dismantling the G-Men.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan deserved a ton of credit. He has kept the team laser-focused after the devastating win over the New York Jets.
“We had a lot more injuries last week, so they did have mixed emotions, but the guys were fired up today,” Shanahan said. “I was just happy about the team win. The offense controlled the ball the way we did. To not punt in the game or have a turnover in the game. The defense had three turnovers and didn’t allow them in the red zone.”
No one will mistake the Giants for a championship squad, but this was an impressive win. The 49ers stayed and practiced in West Virginia between their two games in New York, and Shanahan felt his team’s confidence leading up to the contest, despite dealing with all of the injuries.
“Losing that many guys last week, and just the way it kind of happened made us emotional to start,” Shanahan said. “To pull together throughout the week, I just got a real good energy and vibe from the guys Wednesday [at practice] all the way to the meetings at the hotel before the game.”
The players spoke glowingly about Shanahan after the game. They praised their coach’s leadership and his ability to keep them focused on getting the win.
“It starts with our head coach and the way he commands us, and commands himself,” right tackle Mike McGlinchey said. “It was going to be our technique versus theirs when that kind of matchup happens, we are very confident in the scheme that we have and the position that we are put in by our head coach.”
Even without most of their top players, the Niners played like a contender. The “next man up” mentality was on full display at MetLife Stadium. Without No. 1 receiver Deebo Samuel, rookie Brandon Aiyuk elevated his game, finishing with 101 yards from scrimmage and scored his first career touchdown, which came on a 19-yard run.
“Kyle [Shanahan] always puts us in the best position, that’s a lesson I learned quickly,” Aiyuk said. “When that play was called, I expected it to be explosive. We talked about it all week.”
Shanahan is one of the best coaches in the NFL. The way he has helped turn the franchise around since his arrival, and how he leads the team is something we shouldn’t take for granted.
His players certainly don’t.