SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Three straight wins with 30 points scored in each game is just the kind of start the San Francisco 49ers wanted to get off to this year after being forced to climb out of early holes the past two years.
Despite the relatively easy wins and gaudy numbers, the 49ers are lamenting the missed chances and little mistakes that they were able to overcome in the 30-12 victory Thursday night against the New York Giants.
Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns. But he also had two near interceptions on the opening drive that his receivers needed to break up, a few stalls in the red zone and a botched snap that nearly became a costly turnover.
“There were some looks that were there that I was off and inaccurate or some things just didn’t happen right within our scheme,” Purdy said. I felt like it was a little choppy at first. ... We had a good feel for it, a couple drives into the game once we got rolling, we were putting some drives together, we got in the red zone and we just have to score. Obviously the field goals and putting up points are great, but our standard, we want to be able to score touchdowns when we get in the red zone.”
Purdy's two best throws came when he beat the blitz for two touchdowns — connecting with Ronnie Bell in the first half and Deebo Samuel in the second half.
But San Francisco also had three red zone drives end in field goals as they struggled at times against all the pressure the Giants brought.
Coach Kyle Shanahan had a more positive view of Purdy's performance after he watched the film.
“I was even more impressed than I felt last night after the game,” Shanahan said Friday. “We missed a number of blitz pickups where we had free hitters in space. That always make it harder with accuracy and stuff because you can get balls tipped. You have to avoid those things. I thought he hung in there, made a few mistakes and played a hell of a game.”
Pass rush. The Niners took advantage of a banged-up Giants offensive line and generated 23 pressures on 34 drop backs, according to PFF. Nick Bosa led the way with six pressures and his first sack of the season when he was left unblocked on one play. Javon Hargrave had five pressures, Javon Kinlaw had four and Arik Armstead three as the interior of the line dominated New York.
“I think tonight, all around as a unit, was one of the best performances," Bosa said after the game.
WHAT NEEDS HELP
Special teams penalties. There wasn't much that went wrong for the Niners outside of two special teams penalties early in the third quarter that led to New York's only touchdown. Tre Swilling was called for a hold on a punt return, forcing San Francisco to start a drive at its own 4. After a three-and-out, Shemar Jean-Charles was called for fair catch interference on a punt, setting the Giants up at the 49ers 37 for their only touchdown.
Bell. The seventh-round rookie was forced into a bigger role with Brandon Aiyuk out with a shoulder injury. He delivered with a touchdown on his first career catch and added another on a deflected pass. He also had a key tackle on punt coverage.
LT Trent Williams. The All-Pro had his usual dominant game in the trenches but his temper almost proved costly for San Francisco. Williams punched New York’s A’Shawn Robinson during a scuffle at the end of the first half. The two were called for offsetting personal fouls but Williams was fortunate to avoid a more serious punishment of an ejection.
Samuel hurt his ribs in the game but didn't suffer a break. Shanahan said he is sore Friday and is day to day. ... LBs Dre Greenlaw and Demetrius Flannigan Fowles are both day to day with low ankle sprains.
197. Nearly two-thirds of the Niners yards passing came with runs after the catch as the receivers combined for 197 yards after catching the ball, according to Sportradar. San Francisco got 57 of those yards on screen passes to Samuel and Christian McCaffrey on one TD drive that led to conversions on third and 15 and third and 13.
Host the Arizona Cardinals on Oct. 1.
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