Giants vs. 49ers: New York's Biggest Winners and Losers from NFL Week 6
The San Francisco 49ers caught themselves a case of the blues on Sunday afternoon.
It was all New York Giants at Candlestick Park, as Big Blue dominated Alex Smith and the 49ers on Sunday, holding the Niners to a mere three points in a 26-3 road win.
San Francisco scored on a field goal in the first quarter and never scored again, as the Giants defense took over and forced three interceptions and six sacks of Smith.
Standing alone in first place, here are your winners and losers from the Giants victory over the 49ers.
Manning finished the game 15-of-28 for 193 yards and a touchdown to Victor Cruz and did an excellent job of leading the Giants downfield with big throws to Cruz and Domenik Hixon.
Second-year corner Prince Amukamara had arguably his best game as a pro, breaking up three passes, recording six tackles and intercepting an Alex Smith pass in the second quarter.
Coming out of halftime, rookie David Wilson set the Giants offense up with great field position with a 66-yard kick return that led to more points for the G-Men. Wilson also came in at the end of the game to rush for 35 yards on seven carries.
Winner: Antrel Rolle
Giants safety Antrel Rolle was all over the field on Sunday, tying for a team-high six tackles and intercepting Alex Smith twice in New York's 23-point victory.
Rolle had an incredible day defensively because he was playing in his usual safety role, which is deeper on the field than he had been playing.
USA Today's Mike Garafolo makes note of Rolle's position on the field with this tweet:
Antrel Rolle had three interceptions as a Giant coming into the game. Has two today. Guessing he's enjoying playing deep again.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 14, 2012
One thing's for sure: It was a great day to be a member of the Giants defense.
Loser: Rueben Randle
Randle went from six receptions and 82 yards last week to zero production on Sunday against San Francisco. The only action Randle saw was on punt returns, where he had two yards on two returns.
The return of Hakeem Nicks obviously played a factor in the lack of playing time for the rookie wideout, but if he wants to get Tom Coughlin's attention, he'll need to start on special teams like fellow rookie David Wilson did.
Barring an injury to another New York receiver, you probably won't be seeing much of Randle any time soon.
Winner: Victor Cruz
Victor Cruz was at it again on Sunday.
After exploding for three touchdowns last week against Cleveland, Cruz again found himself on the other end of a Manning TD pass against the 49ers in the second quarter.
Cruz caught the only touchdown pass from Manning, making a beautiful catch in the back of the end zone to give the Giants a 7-3 lead.
Mr. Salsa finished the day with a team-high six receptions for 58 yards and has to feel good after scoring a touchdown over Carlos Rodgers.
Loser: Ramses Barden
Again, like Randle, Hakeem Nicks' return was a direct result of Ramses Barden's lack of opportunity at Candlestick Park on Sunday.
Barden didn't record a reception in the Giants win, and I'm not even positive he touched the field or had a ball thrown his way all day.
The 26-year-old wide receiver proved against the Carolina Panthers that he can make plays in the Giants' offense, but with Cruz, Nicks and Hixon taking up the wide receiver positions, there's a very tight window of opportunity for Barden.
Winner: Jason Pierre-Paul
After underperforming for the first five games of the season, the Giants defensive line came alive in San Francisco, and it all started with Jason Pierre-Paul.
JPP recorded the first sack of Smith on Sunday, a day that would see Pierre-Paul record two sacks, hit Smith three times and deflect a pass.
The pressure that JPP put on the offensive line allowed teammates Mathias Kiwanuka, Linval Joseph and Jacquian Williams to reach the 49ers quarterback for sacks.
Big Blue fans are hoping Sunday was a sign of good things to come for Pierre-Paul, and more importantly, New York's defense.
Loser: Justin Tuck
The heart and soul of the Giants defense is struggling right now.
Justin Tuck again failed to record a sack on a day when it seemed like the rest of the team was getting to the quarterback and didn't even post a tackle against the 49ers.
Though he got a hit on Smith, Tuck was highly ineffective and is becoming a weekly member of the loser list for the G-Men.
He may have the sickest face mask in the NFL, but he's been just sickening to watch on the football field.
Winner: Ahmad Bradshaw
Ahmad Bradshaw did the impossible at Candlestick Park: rush for more than 100 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers defense.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News puts Bradshaw's day into perspective:
Ahmad Bradshaw becomes the first RB to go over 100 yards on the 49ers since 2008 (per @wfan660). Remarkable.— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) October 14, 2012
Bradshaw completed the game with 116 yards and a TD on 27 carries and took a lot of pressure off of Manning and the aerial offense.
That's now two weeks in a row that Bradshaw has eclipsed the 100-yard mark, making him a definite winner in Week 6.
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