SF-NYG Grades: Late TD pass propels Giants in tight battle

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Giants 30-27 victory over the 49ers

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

SF-NYG Grades: Late TD pass propels Giants in tight battle

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Giants’ 30-27 victory over the 49ers:

New York Giants

– This game would have turned out very differently if the 49ers had fully punished Eli Manning (-2.6) for his mistakes in this game. A pair of passes that could have been intercepted hit the turf, including one from Kenneth Acker (-0.1) on a fourth quarter scoring drive. Manning bounced back from those let-offs and was excellent down the middle of the field going 6-for-7 for 114 yards and the game winning touchdown on intermediate passes aimed between the numbers, earning a +2.2 passing grade for those plays.

– Without their top two defensive ends, the Giants got some solid production from Damontre Moore (+0.8 pass rush) last night with a pair of sacks in pursuit of Colin Kaepernick at the end of the first and fourth quarters, respectively. Among the starters, Kerry Wynn (+0.4) was productive (one hit, five hurries) without being overpowering. But, it is still clear that the Giants lack the real quality off the edge that might let this defense kick up a gear or two.

– While the Giants’ offensive tackles struggled with the 49ers’ edge rushers (combined 16 pressures allowed), the interior of their offensive line was arguably their strongest position group last night. Justin Pugh (+1.4), Weston Richburg (+2.7) and Geoff Schwartz (+1.8) all earned positive grades helping to set up a solid (if underused) ground game, while holding their own in pass protection to give Eli Manning room to maneuver against the San Francisco edge rush.

Top performers:

DT Jay Bromley (+3.1)
C Weston Richburg (+2.7)
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (+2.3)
DT Johnathan Hankins (+1.9)
HB Shane Vereen (+1.9)

San Francisco 49ers

– The 49ers have been decimated on defense, but second-year edge rusher Aaron Lynch (+7.1) has really raised his game in the last two weeks. After racking up five pressures against the Packers last week, Lynch more than doubled that output last night (four hits, eight hurries) with a dominant performance against the Giants’ offensive tackles, in particular Marshall Newhouse (-4.9). All that was missing from Lynch’s performance was converting a couple of those pressures into sacks to really bring the heat to Manning.

– Considering some of his struggles in recent weeks this was a big step in the right direction from Colin Kaepernick (-1.0) but there were still plays left on the table that could have turned the game. Admittedly, that turn could have been in either direction with a fumble and a poor pass late in the game falling the right way for him with neither being turned over by the Giants. Overall, this was a far more composed display by Kaepernick with a couple of throws down the field to Anquan Boldin (+3.2) in the second half particularly impressive.

– The 49ers introduced a rotation at right guard for the first time this season and on last night’s evidence it won’t be long before Andrew Tiller (+1.1) pushes Jordan Devey (-1.1) aside to take the role on a full time basis. Tiller impressed against backups in pre-season and carried that form into last night’s game, outplaying Devey as both a run blocker (+1.1 to -0.3) and in pass protection. Though Cullen Jenkins (+0.8) troubled Tiller on a couple of fourth quarter pass plays there was nothing to suggest he wouldn’t be an upgrade over Devey who sits near the bottom of our guard grades after five weeks.

Top performers:

OLB Aaron Lynch (+7.1)
WR Anquan Boldin (+3.2)
LT Joe Staley (+2.6)
FB Bruce Miller (+1.5)
LG Alex Boone (+1.1)

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • howard77

    Yes, eli made 2 poor throws but I find it hard to believe that he had an overall negative grade last night: what drove him down so much?

    • al441j

      They dock him and Rogers both for the system they play in

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        uhhh rodgers was their #1 qb last year…. they dock poor plays, that’s all

    • JudoPrince

      No….he made 3 poor throws that should have been interceptions. He made other poor throws throughout the game that could have been easy completions, but were not. Not to mention most of his receiving yards on the game winning drive came on yards after catch to the RB and a pass interference call.

  • Mikerb

    PFF is really starting to lose credibility with their QB ratings re Eli Manning last night. They need to change something because it’s getting to the point where I don’t even look at these grades anymore.

    • Doug Cuomo

      Couldn’t agree more. All you need to know is that Kirk Cousins is ranked 8th on their list right now, he of the 5td/6int split.

  • paul _

    I’m a niners fan and Eli played better than his grade, he avoided nicely often pressure and had many timely conversions. At minimum he should have a even performance not negative

    • JudoPrince

      Nope. Think about it. Had the Niners not dropped two potential interceptions in the endzone, how would that night have looked for Eli Manning? Those two dropped INTs cost the Niners 10 points. Not to mention the interception that was called back on the final drive, which ended up being a touchdown. Had those interceptions been made, which you can argue SHOULD have happened, that’s 3 ints for manning and 17 points off the board for the Giants.

  • Brian

    No doubt, a bad pick and a couple of bad throws but a negative grade? He was under a lot of pressure last night, and handled it superbly. If not by dumping it off quickly, then by moving around the pocket, or even rolling outside the pocket or taking off. Was the best I’ve seen him play under pressure since 2011. Also the near pick on the final drive has to be on the WR? He got open, Eli threw it to him but the kid never even turned around (and he’s a rookie who’s barely played so it’s gunna happen) I don’t know, -2.6 just seems a bit much.

    There is now no question, the PFF rankings do punish QBs that play efficient games. We all love the deep pass, and no doubt plays like that deserve more credit, but an efficiently played game that is unspectacular should be neutral.

    • Doug Cuomo

      It’s PFF. Eli can do no right. 41/54, 441, 3 TDs and 1 pick. Those numbers despite being pressured by Lynch (a +7.1 with 1 tackle and no sacks) all night. When does Eli get credit for negating Lynch’s big night and still putting up big passing numbers? Never it seems.

      • nonono

        they actually have been very fair over the years towards manning compared to most of the media an myself- im a giants fan lol

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        • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

          they’re literally unbiased

          • MosesZD

            No. They have a non-team bias. But they have their biases.

      • JudoPrince

        Eli could have easily been the cause for a Giants Loss. The interception called back on final drive spelled luck for Eli Manning. Speaking of that last drive, all Eli did was connect with the RB on short passes while the RB did all the work getting down field. The other big play responsible for getting the them in winning position was the pass interference call created by Beckham. Lets not also forget on the drive before last; Eli should have thrown an interception in the endzone, which was dropped. When you put it all together play by play, this was not a very impressive day for Eli. PFF is way more than just stats, you should know that by now.

        • Doug Cuomo

          The PI play was an 8 yard penalty on 1st and 10 from the 20. Not exactly a drive defining call. Oh and let’s gloss over the perfect throw he made on the next play for the TD. Let’s also ignore that the last 2 scoring drives in the 4th quarter were pulled off with his 4th, 5th and 6th best wide receivers in the game. Let’s also not mention he won player of the week. Guess I’d rather be lucky then good.

      • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

        stats don’t equal grades man, the film does

      • MosesZD

        You know, if you take their numbers in the way they compute them, they’ll always be wonky. Bottom line is they don’t really seem to account for context.

        Some INTs are dropped. Other INTs are the fault of the receiver. Others are good plays by the defense. Yet they all seem to always count against the QB.

        And heaven forbid if you’re conservative QB. You’re punished for every high-risk throw you don’t take. Never mind the mistakes you did make.

  • Kason Edell

    How does Eli get a -2.6 grade?

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      by earning it

      • SchoOne

        It’s like sheep being lead to slaughter…If that game and that result earns a bad “grade” but the same thing happens every week, give him the bad “grade” please.

  • Brian O’Neill

    I really can’t understand why Eli manning received a negative grade. I’m not sure what the expectations are but he made two bad passes out of more than 50 and won the game with a last-minute drive when his receiving corp was down to three guys who were selling cracker jacks in the stands at halftime.

  • Jared

    I agree with their grade for Manning. For the most part the Niners coverage was soft and he took advantage. Made one great throw at the end but threw a terrible interception in the end zone and threw two terrible passes that should have been picked.

    • Brian

      Fair, but he also evaded/dealt with a lot of pressure, and at one point his WRs on the field were a rookie, and two recent pickups.
      Maybe not spectacular, but he was sharp and efficient. At worst should be a neutral grade? Especially given he threw it 54 times

  • Brian

    Well, glad to see the interior line playing so well. If Beatty can return to form will be a huge boost. Especially by kicking Flowers right and dropping Newhouse…
    Maybe then the deep pass can open up a little more

  • Mighty Whig

    Again, another silly rating for Eli. Even more clueless than last week’s. One of the best games of his career. And who would have guessed jay bromley was the best Giant on the field! PFF: you are blowing your credibility.

  • Skyhawk Nu

    This and the Rodgers rating after his great night just screams clickbait and attention seeking headlines. Like everywhere else nowadays they just want your Draft Kings and Fan Duel ad revenue.

    • https://twitter.com/MALACHiOFCOURSE Malachi

      go away

  • SchoOne

    As someone else said, stats and formulas like these take zero context into account and focus on weird things that ignore things like winning or reality. The numbers Eli put up were obviously superb, the result at the end of the game was obviously superb, and oh he just happened to be the best player on the field in the game. So how is anyone supposed to take this grade seriously when anyone who watched the game saw one thing, and this number says another? What exactly would have lead to a better grade? If he did everything he could to help his team win including rescuing his own defense (which had players on it that had better grades but then allowed what would have been a game winning drive in disappointing fashion if not for one guy who then received a bad grade), what was he supposed to do in order to please anyone? The basic point of my rant is: How can a grade be taken seriously or matter when it proves nothing about what actually happened? And therefore, what is the point of it entirely?


    Matt Hasselbeck 18/29 213 7.3 2 0 0-0 92.1 107.4

    is better than this:

    Eli Manning 41/54 441 8.2 3 1 0-0 90.6 110.2

    Of course maybe you could tell me that makes sense if the Giants lost, lost and he cost the team the game, or won and won in spite of him. None of that happened.