49ers grades vs. Giants feel deceiving (but we'll still take them)

The final score probably makes Thursday night sound like a blowout when it truly wasn't.
New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (L) versus San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (R)
New York Giants safety Xavier McKinney (L) versus San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle (R) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
3 of 4
Javon Hargrave, Nick Bosa
New York Giants v San Francisco 49ers / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

49ers Defensive Grades

This game became a blowout because San Francisco's defense clamped down on everything and anything the Giants wanted to get done.

This side of the ball stole the show.

49ers Rushing Defense

Facing a Giants offense without Saquon Barkley, the 49ers were expected to take care of business on the ground, and that they did.

Rushing stats against the Niners are often skewed because the offense will race out to a lead, forcing teams to abandon the run and commit to the pass. The Giants were no different, running the ball only 11 times in the entire game, and a couple of those were QB scrambles as well.

But in those situations, San Francisco absolutely dominated.

Former 49er Matt Breida led the Giants with 17 yards rushing and a touchdown, the one blemish on the ground. But he and fellow running back Gary Brightwell finished with 22 yards on eight carries.

That is domination from a defensive front.

Most importantly, and most excitingly to take away, the Niners neutralized quarterback Daniel Jones as a scrambler. As a defense, the 49ers have struggled against mobile QBs who can escape their rush or take advantage of their aggressiveness on zone reads. But Jones never truly had opportunities to break the pocket, and he finished with only 5 yards.

That is an unmistakable positive for this offense.

Grade: A+

49ers Passing Defense

San Francisco forced the G-Men to be nearly perfect to score any points with solid coverage paired with excellent pass rush keeping passes short and in front of a defense ready and willing to wrap up. When the Cover 3 system that the 49ers defense is loosely based around now works at its best, teams do not get opportunities to gash them, and that happened tonight.

The 49ers pass rush finished with only two sacks, but they brought pressure consistently. And when they did not, coordinator Steve Wilks sent blitzes to fluster Jones. Both defensive linemen, Nick Bosa and Javon Hargrave, took advantage of a Giants offensive line that was not equipped to handle that level of talent.

On the back end, there were a couple of snafus in coverage, including a costly pass interference by cornerback Deommodore Lenoir that granted the Giants yards en route to their first touchdown. But overall, the pass coverage held up, and then some, even getting an interception to ice the game.

When a quarterback passes the ball 32 times and only gets 137 yards, a pass defense has done its job.

Grade: A-

Overall Grade. . 49ers Defense. 49ers Defense A. A