The San Francisco 49ers were back in The Bay in Week 3 for their long-awaited home opener. After securing two wins on the road, the red and gold played host to the New York Giants on “Thursday Night Football.” With their 30-12 win over New York, San Francisco improves to 3-0 for the first time since 2019.
“We’re really happy to be 3-0 right now,” head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “It’s really cool to do it after a Thursday night game. There’s not many times in the NFL where you get to enjoy a win more than just that night. It’s always cool when you win on Thursdays. I told the guys if they want to win and have a weekend off, we have to earn it.
“Those guys did. Now, they can sit back and relax a little bit. They can enjoy how these last three weeks have gone and be ready to go on Monday.”
Here are the seven takeaways from Thursday’s game:
RB Christian McCaffrey Reaches 5,000 Career Rushing Yards
The accolades keep coming for San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey. Through the first two weeks of the season, McCaffrey is the NFL rushing yards leader, has won back-to-back Fedex Ground Player of the Week awards and on Thursday against the New York Giants, reached 5,000 career rushing yards in his 14th game as a member of the red and gold (78th-overall). When asked about that benchmark he responded with, “That’s cool, I didn’t know that.”
The veteran running back hit the benchmark less than two minutes into Thursday’s matchup, on a ten-yard carry during San Francisco’s opening drive. Production from McCaffrey was far from over at this point in the game. He racked up 18 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown on the ground and added another five catches for 34 yards through the air. With his four-yard rushing touchdown in Week 3, McCaffrey extended his touchdown scoring streak to 12-straight games.
RB Elijah Mitchell Gets in on the Ground Game
After not seeing the field against the Los Angeles Rams, Mitchell saw a substantial workload versus New York, taking some of the weight off of McCaffrey’s shoulders. He ended the day with 11 carries for 42 yards and had three catches for two yards. His longest carry of the day, an 18-yard burst, was part of San Francisco’s second touchdown-scoring drive of the game.
DL Nick Bosa Records First Sack of the Season
It’s been a steady build up for the reigning AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year since rejoining his team late at the start of the season. The defensive lineman was on a snap count in Week 1, recorded three quarterback hits against the Rams and, in primetime, got home for his first sack of the season. Bosa sacked Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in the final minute of the first quarter for a loss of eight yards and helped set up San Francisco’s defense for their first three-and-out of the game. He later combined with Arik Armstead on a tackle of Jones on a failed two-point conversion attempt by New York in the third quarter.
“Tonight, all around was the best performance we’ve had together, just winning rushes, everybody was really fast,” Bosa said. “But the interior, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw and Javon Hargrave had really good games today.”
Bosa wasn’t the only one on the D-line to net a sack under the Thursday night lights. Defensive lineman Javon Hargrave also sacked Jones. His takedown came in the second quarter and secured the defense’s second-straight three-and-out of the game.
Rookie WR Ronnie Bell Comes in Clutch
With San Francisco missing one of their star wideouts in Brandon Aiyuk, Bell had his role increase significantly against the Giants, and he delivered in primetime. His highlight reel worthy plays of the night included a big-time special teams tackle that backed up New York to their 10 yard line for their ensuing possession, a catch of a deflected pass for a 15-yard gain and the first touchdown of his pro career.
Bell’s nine-yard touchdown reception capped off an 11-play, 72-yard drive for the 49ers that put them ahead 10-3 midway through the second quarter. He closed out the day with two catches for 24 yards and touchdown.
Rookie kicker Jake Moody Stays Perfect
The 49ers third-round pick was the third-highest scoring kicker through Week 2, and he continued to tack on points on Thursday night. He sailed three field goals through the uprights from 28, 21 and 36 yards out and was good on all of his PATs. He has gone nine-of-nine in field goal attempts and eight-of-eight in PATs through the first three games of his NFL career.
Penalties Stack Up for San Francisco
The 49ers picked up penalties in all three phases during their Week 3 matchup. San Francisco had six penalties for 71 yards, one of which opened the door for a Giants touchdown. A defensive pass interference accounted for 22 yards on a 37-yard touchdown-scoring drive for New York in the third quarter.
Signature Deebo Samuel was on display against New York as the veteran “wideback” racked up the yards-after-catch that resulted in a 40-yard reception early in the third quarter. That play was part of an 11-play, 72-yard field goal-scoring drive for San Francisco to put them up 20-12. Kittle’s 29-yard gain was also a third quarter grab that pushed the red and goal down the field. That drive ended with a 36-yard field goal by Moody to put the team up 30-12.
“I just try to get every yard possible in terms of moving the chains,” Samuel said. “It’s just my mindset. I’m not just going to fall to the ground or allow one person to bring me down.”
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