Giants coach Tom Coughlin could only laugh when asked Monday if there was anything the Giants could’ve done differently to stop David Akers’ onside kick, which was recovered by the 49ers. It eventually led to a field goal that gave San Francisco a 9-6 lead heading into the second half.
“The guy’s [Akers] exceptional at it,” Coughlin said. “What is he, 9 of 19 in his career? The surprise onside, you talk all week about it, you do the best you can with that. We let our guard down just a bit, and didn’t attack the ball and that was the consequence, so I take responsibility for that.”
• Coughlin also confirmed what was already known: that Greg Jones was supposed to cover Vernon Davis on the 49ers tight end’s 31-yard fourth-quarter touchdown catch that gave San Francisco a 20-13 lead.
Jones stayed with Davis early in his route, but looked over to his left, allowing Davis to cut unmarked to the rookie linebacker’s right. That left Davis wide open to catch Alex Smith’s pass, run and then jump high and into the endzone for the score.
Jones was pretty much only seeing snaps on running plays, but the 49ers elected to go with a pass on 2nd-and-4, and it cost the Giants.He said he expected Davis to go up the seam with his route.
Jacquain Williams and Spencer Paysinger, for the most part, served as the Giants’ two linebackers in the team’s nickel packages after Michael Boley got hurt. Boley (hamstring) is day to day, Coughlin said.
• Eli Manning said Monday on ESPN New York 1050’s “The Michael Kay Show” the Giants meant to run a delayed handoff with D.J. Ware out of the shotgun on 3rd-and-2 on their final drive.
“That was the call,” Manning said of the play, which was stopped for no gain. “They just played it well.”
• As for Manning’s pass, which was nearly caught for a TD by Mario Manningham in the fourth quarter, the Giants quarterback said, “It was close. He’s trying to catch it on the move. It was probably like two inches overthrown. It wasn’t a poor throw, but they always say ‘Football is a game of inches.’ It was so close.”
Manningham said after the game, “I have to come down with that.”
• Manning said the 49ers were running a lot of “two-safeties high,” and did a great job of limiting the Giants on the ground. San Francisco’s top-rated run defense, which had allowed under 71 rushing yards per game, held the Giants to 29 carries for 93 yards -- a 3.2 average.
“It’s not where it needs to be,” Chris Snee said of the run game. “But that’s why they’re the No. 1 rush defense in the league.”