SAN FRANCISCO –- Eli Manning and the New York Giants ran out of their fourth-quarter comeback magic as the 49ers made a defensive stand at their own 10-yard line in the final minute to come away with a 27-20 win.
What it means: After playing perhaps the best football of his career, Manning threw two interceptions -- both to Carlos Rogers. It was Manning’s first multi-interception game since he threw three picks in a loss to Seattle on Oct. 9.
The second pick, which was thrown in the middle of the field with Mario Manningham way off to the right, gave the Niners the ball at the Giants’ 17-yard line. On the next play, Kendall Hunter scored untouched on a run to put the Niners up 27-13 with 12:21 left.
The Giants led 13-12 going into the fourth quarter only to see the Niners score 14 unanswered in the span of 61 seconds. Manning responded with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks with 8:37 to go when San Francisco blitzed safety Dashon Goldson, who started the play over the top of Nicks.
The Giants were on the move again with Manning hitting Manningham for an 18-yard gain on a fourth-and-6 that put the Giants at the Niners' 42. Manningham nearly scored a touchdown but had a would-be 42-yard touchdown pass go off his fingertips as Manning led him just a tad too much. Manning converted another fourth down with a 10-yard pass to Victor Cruz and later had the Giants at the Niners' 10. But later on a fourth-and-2, Manning had a short pass batted down to send the Giants to a loss.
Killer Akers: David Akers stuck it to his old division rival yet again. The former Eagles kicker was a one-man gang in the first half, drilling three field goals -- including a 52-yarder -- and converted a surprise onside kick in the second quarter. That allowed Akers to convert a 39-yard field goal that gave the Niners a 9-6 lead just before the end of the half.
Boley hurt: Linebacker Michael Boley went down with a hamstring injury just toward the end of the first half and did not return. Boley has been a big part of the Giants' defense this season, responsible for relaying calls into the huddle. He also is the Giants’ lone every-down linebacker.
With Boley out, rookie middle linebacker Greg Jones relayed the calls when he was in on running situations. He and rookie Spencer Paysinger took turns playing in place of Boley depending on whether it was a running or passing play.
Niners TE Vernon Davis took advantage of Boley’s absence, scoring on an uncovered 31-yard run-and-catch touchdown with 13:22 left to put the Niners up 20-13.
Cornerback Aaron Ross also left the game with a bruised quad injury in the third quarter.
Gore hurt: Frank Gore had six carries for no yards. The team said he had a knee injury. He returned briefly but wasn’t a factor after coming into the game with five straight 100-yard rushing games.
No Prince: Despite traveling with the team for a second straight week, rookie Prince Amukamara was inactive. The Giants clearly want to hold out their first-round pick until he is absolutely ready to make his debut. Amukamara has been out since breaking his foot in his second practice of training camp.
What’s next: The Giants get the reeling Eagles and a chance to bury Philly and win a critical divisional game.