It was one of the best games of the 2011 NFL season, and another chapter in the storied battles between two storied franchises. In the end, the San Francisco 49ers did enough to hold off the New York Giants, 27-20, a game that featured plenty of great plays on both sides of the ball.
The Giants head east with a 6-3 record and still in the lead of the NFC East. The 49ers at 8-1 are locked in on the NFC West title. More importantly, it was a crucial win in terms of playoff seedings, as it was a conference win and a victory over another potential playoff contender. Head-to-head matchups are the first tiebreaker.
Looking back, we see several factors that can be added into this ethereal mix that accounts for San Francisco’s success so far. They have exceeded preseason expectations by a huge margin; but even more so they continue to surprise.
In September, when they were 2-1, everyone said, “We’ll see.” At 4-1, it was we’ll see. At 6-1, “we’ll see.” Now at 8-1, can we say they are for real? Here are five things we learned from San Francisco's 27-20 win.