SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After the 49ers defeated the Giants 30-12 on Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium, quarterback Daniel Jones summarized the night in San Francisco.
“Not good enough,” he said. “Not good enough.”
The Giants got steamrolled in the second half by a 49ers team that, at season’s end, might rank among the top teams in the league.
“This is a good (49ers) defense and going up against them, credit to them, they played well,” Jones said. “But we have to convert those opportunities. When you play a good team like that, you have to be crisp, you have to be clean and we didn’t do that.”
In particular, Jones lamented missing on two passes to tight end Darren Waller, one late in the second quarter and another in the fourth quarter, both on throws that sailed high.
“Certainly those (throws) and there were plays across the board that I’d like to have back,” Jones said. “Just missing throws, high throws. Got to get them a better ball.”
This night, however, wasn’t just about Jones.
Trailing 17-6 at halftime, the Giants managed just one touchdown in the game, it coming with five minutes elapsed in the third quarter, on a 8-yard run by running back Matt Breida, who started in place of the injured Saquon Barkley.
The Giants have now faced double-digit deficits at halftime in all three of their games.
Coach Brian Daboll said his team wanted to start fast.
“That’s a heck of a team,” he said of the Niners, “it usually comes down to making plays when you have a chance to make plays. Give them credit.”
Daboll noted that the Niners were 7-of-9 on third down conversions in the first half.
The Niners finished the game 9-of-16 on third down.
The Giants were three-of-12.
Running back Christian McCaffrey and receiver Deebo Samuel did a lot of the damage, combining for 250 yards between them.
“They’re good playmakers, really good playmakers,” linebacker Bobby Okereke said. “They made plays after the catch, and that was the deciding factory.
Several of the Niners conversions came on screens that were well executed.
Said Daboll: “You have to rally to the ball and make tackles. I’d say on both sides, third downs were huge in this game. If you’re not converting third downs and you give up some third downs, the defense gets tired and we’re not on the field enough offensively. It’s a collective thing.”
The Giants finished with 29 rushing yards.
“That’s a good football team. There’s a lot of stuff we can do better, really in every phase. … We’ve got to correct some things and come back ready to go.”
As much as the Niners generally controlled both lines of scrimmage, the game wasn’t truly over until Niners quarterback Brock Purdy found Deebo Samuel for a 27-yard touchdown to the right side of the field. That play set the final score.
“Again, you got to take the good from it and you’ve got to learn from the bad. Just like every game. The guys competed, we competed all the way to the end. They made more plays than we did, so you go back, take a look at it and move ahead to next week.”
The Giants’ next game is Oct. 2 on “Monday Night Football” against the Seahawks. The Giants will hope Barkley is healthy enough to play that night.
Daboll said that since he injured his ankle, Barkley has felt “a little bit better” every day.
“No excuses,” Daboll added, “with anyone who missed the game or who played. We have to go out there and compete and try to win enough football games.”
One particularly quizzical part of the game was the absence of Jalin Hyatt, who was not targeted. The rookie speedster has already shown the ability to take the top off defenses.
Second-year receiver Wan’Dale Robinson did get his first playing time of the season.
“It felt great,” he said. “Obviously, I think it would feel a little better after a win. So I just want to do whatever I can to get us a W.”
Now healthy after tearing his ACL last year, Robinson made four catches for 21 yards.
“Obviously, it’s been almost a year since I’ve been on a football field,” he said. “I’m just excited and grateful to be back, and just trying to soak it all in.”
For Jones, the game tape will provide plenty of examples where he and the offense can be better. As he talked to the media, he seemed to be going over a to-do list in his mind, already.
Accountability is one of Jones’ trademarks, and that includes the aftermath of this game.
Asked how he played, the quarterback said, “Not good enough, not good enough.”