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Banged-Up 49ers Make It 2-0 at MetLife, Beating the Winless Giants

The New York Times: EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The San Francisco 49ers did not need quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and a slew of missing starters on the dreaded MetLife Stadium turf.

They controlled the ball on offense, took it away from the winless Giants on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast.

Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards and a touchdown to lead the 49ers to their second win at MetLife in two weeks with a 36-9 victory over the error-prone and winless Giants on Sunday.

Jerick McKinnon, Brandon Aiyuk and Jeff Wilson scored on runs on a near flawless day for the Niners (2-1), who stayed in West Virginia to prep for the game. Robbie Gould added three field goals for San Francisco, which beat the Jets, 31-13, here last week and denied Giants Coach Joe Judge a chance for his first win this week.

The Niners had Garoppolo (ankle), defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas (knees) and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman hurt against the Jets. They complained about the new turf after the game, saying it was “sticky” and led to injuries.

The N.F.L., the players’ association, the Jets, the Giants and Field Turf, which installed the surface, re-examined the field and said it met all standards.

The Niners’ play on Sunday made it a nonissue as Mullens completed 25 of 36 passes and finished with a rating of 108.9. San Francisco outgained the Giants, 420-231, held the ball for 39 minutes 44 seconds and forced three turnovers without giving the ball up.

Mullens led San Francisco to scores on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight if not for a snap-hold problem that caused Gould to miss a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners’ ninth possession coincided with the end of the game.

The Giants, who came into the game as the N.F.L.’s lowest-scoring offense, got three field goals from Graham Gano, the second of which tied the game at 6-6 midway through the second quarter.

A 10-yard touchdown run by McKinnon with 1:13 left in the half and a 26-yard field goal by Gould pushed the lead to 16-6 at the half. The field goal was set up by an interception by linebacker Fred Warner at the Giants’ 32.

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones finished 17 of 32 for 179 yards, but the second half was all San Francisco.


Originally posted on The New York Times

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