Giants-49ers: New York Wins, Must Improve Ahead of Steelers Clash

David BrodianCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2008

Perhaps Eli Manning said it best after the Giants beat the 49ers, 29-17, “It's all about finding ways to win, to gut it out. That's what we did."

It wasn't pretty, and the Giants showed there are still areas they need to address in order to be playing their best football. 

The first thing the Giants must do is limit their penalties. Against the 49ers, the Giants committed 11 penalties for 80 yards. Against a stiffer opponent, such a large amount of penalty yardage will be more costly.

Additionally, the Giants need to be able to convert on third down, like they did last year and in the beginning of this year. Today, the Giants were a measly four of 14 on third down. 

Lastly, the Giants must sure up their secondary coverage. Once again, Aaron Ross was burned deep for a touchdown, this time by rookie wide receiver Josh Morgan.

Although the Giants were often sloppy, there were positives in the win. 

The Giants' defensive line was dominant once again. The defensive line had six sacks, which caused J.T. O’Sullivan to fumble four times. Furthermore, the stout defensive front limited Frank Gore, one of the NFL’s best running backs, to 11 yards on 11 carries.

Offensively, the Giants showed that when they need to, they can lean on their running-back trio, known as Earth (Brandon Jacobs), Wind (Derrick Ward), and Fire (Ahmad Bradshaw). The three running backs combined for 116 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.

Next week, the Giants will need to come out firing, as they face their toughest test of the year when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the (5-1) Steelers.