Sound the alarm on the Giants.
They are not among the elite teams in the NFL. At least not right now.
49ers 30, Giants 12 on Thursday night wasn’t entirely unexpected. That can be chalked up, in part, to playing a 49ers team that is loaded and finally was playing in front of its home crowd after wins over the Steelers and Rams on the road.
The 49ers scored the final 13 points.
This is alarming: Against the two brand-name teams they have played, Dallas and San Francisco, the Giants have been outscored 70-12.
Maybe we should forget about the Giants being a contender for a moment.
The 49ers got the better of the Giants in every major statistical category. They had 441 passing yards to the Giants’ 150, which was the Giants’ lowest total in 10 years.
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” said Daniel Jones, who was 22-for-32 for 137 yards, sacked twice and intercepted once. “Obviously, it’s a good defense going up against them, and credit to them. They played well, but we have to convert a couple of those opportunities. When you play a good team like that, you have to be crisp. We have to be clean, and we didn’t do that.”
And Jones has to be more accurate, especially early in games. The Giants’ minus-57 scoring margin in the first half through three weeks is the worst of any team since at least 1991, according to The Associated Press.
That’s a blueprint on how not to give yourself a chance to win.
The Giants have had tackling issues that were further exposed by 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy.
After the game, Giants radio analyst Carl Banks wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “A poor tackling defense is a perpetual liability. This was embarrassing the amount of missed tackles [on Thursday night].”
In so many words, linebacker Bobby Okereke agreed.
“Obviously, we need to put more of an emphasis on tackling,’’ he said. “We have a lot of missed tackles across the board at different positions. Execution-wise, guys just have to do their job, starting with me. I have to be better.’’
Too often, the Giants’ defensive front has not been as dominant as it was at times last season. That seems curious.
Coach Brian Daboll referred to the poor tackling as “an area we’ve got to get better at.”
Offensively, the Giants may have some play-calling to address. It is inexplicable that Jalen Hyatt was not targeted in the 49ers game. He can’t be expected to save the Giants in a game like Thursday’s, but the rookie can take the top off any defense if given the chance. He’s the Giants’ fastest receiver.
Give him a chance.
On a similar topic, Darren Waller’s production has to improve, too. He was overthrown a few times, and yes, the 49ers’ defense was ready for him. But Waller catching three passes for 20 yards runs counterproductive to the idea that the Giants would win the game.
“I don’t think we had very many snaps on offense in general” is how Daboll described the lack of production by Waller and Hyatt.
Yes, having only 46 snaps factored in. And it may be that Jones might have to be more willing to hang in there, even against a defense as formidable as San Francisco’s.
But nickel and diming against the 49ers was never going to be a winning formula. Their defense is too good.
That left tackle Andrew Thomas missed his second straight game with a hamstring injury was detrimental, as he would have helped against a fierce San Francisco pass rush. He hopes to be back for the Oct. 2 home game against the Seahawks.
And then there is Saquon Barkley.
Having suffered an ankle sprain in the waning moments of the win over the Cardinals — and the Giants likely wouldn’t have won that game without him — Barkley initially was expected to miss maybe three games, according to ESPN. Barkley thought he might not be out that long, and the extra time until the next game could work in his favor.
And think about this: Barkley was the big-name player the Giants didn’t pay this offseason. It’s pretty clear the Giants’ offense runs through him . . . and should run through him.
This Giants season has a strange feel to it. As noted, the early schedule didn’t help. But at some juncture, a team, especially a team that believes it is a playoff team, has to help itself.
Absent the final minutes in the Arizona desert, these Giants have yet to do that.