SANTA CLARA, Calif. — It was a slow bleed for the Giants defense.
In the end, the series of paper scraps became a bloody mess.
In the Giants’ 30-12 loss Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium, San Francisco was killing the Giants on third down after every key 49ers drive.
It started with the 49ers’ opening drive and continued all night.
The 49ers’ offense continued to score on drives, going 7-of-10 on third down in the first half, taking a 17-3 lead.
They finished the game with a modest 56.3 percent, 9-for-16, but the damage was done much earlier.
Similar damage occurred during the Giants’ offense.
They converted just 3 of 12 third downs, which helped the 49ers control the ball for 39 minutes, 10 seconds, compared to just 20 minutes, 50 seconds for the Giants.
“Third down was huge for both teams.” [factor] in this game,” Giants head coach Brian Daboll said after the game. “That was a contributing factor.” [San Francisco having nearly double the] Possession time. When you can’t convert third downs and you’re giving up some third downs, you have time of possession. [problems]. Our defense is getting tired and we are not showing enough offensive power. So it was a collective thing.
Daboll said San Francisco hit 7-of-10 in the first half, “some of which were just catch-and-run screens.” We have to rally to the ball and make the tackle. ”
The Giants’ tackling was terrible, as it was in Sunday’s 31-28 win over Arizona.
49ers running back Christian McCaffrey had 85 rushing yards on 18 carries, and receiver Deebo Samuel caught six passes for 129 yards, many of them after first contact. ) could not be stopped.
“Obviously we need to put more emphasis on tackling,” Giants linebacker Bobby Okereke said. “We had a lot of missed tackles overall in different positions. Execution-wise, everyone has to do their job, starting with me.”
On the 49ers’ first offensive possession, Brock Purdy completed a 14-yard pass to Samuel on third-and-6.
Then Jauan Jennings got 24 yards from Purdy on third-and-8.
The 49ers made a field goal in this series.
The 49ers capitalized on the drive with a 30-yard catch-and-run by Samuel and a 17-yard pass play to McCaffrey on third-and-time on their third possession that produced their first TD and a 10-3 lead. continued. 13.
A scoring pass from the 9-yard line to Ronnie Bell on third-and-goal made it 10-3.
As the 49ers led 17-3, the key play was a 12-yard pass play from Purdy to George Kittle that added penalty yards when Leonard Williams was called for roughing the passer.
“I don’t know what the conversion rate was, but it was obviously bad,” cornerback Adoree Jackson said.
“We’ve got to step up on third down,” safety Jason Pinnock said. “We have to do better. We have to emphasize that.”
“They beat us on a lot of third downs,” defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence said. “We were making them third and long and they were converting. We have to be better in those situations. They were just making plays. We know we have to get better. We all have to run to the ball.”