The Giants defense looked horrid against a formerly winless 49ers team. (Photo: Getty Images)

While everyone is going to scream about the offense, it was the defense that cost the New York Giants in Sunday’s loss at the formerly winless San Francisco 49ers. The Giants are now 1-8 on the year with no hope in sight.

The Giants defense was simply bad on the day, an inexcusable fact when this was a very winnable game against a bad opponent. Missed tackles and blown assignments typified an afternoon where a unit that was the league’s second-best scoring defense a year ago let a rookie third-round pick at quarterback methodically move down the field.

The 49ers put up 474 yards of total offense in large part because they converted on two-thirds of their third-down attempts (San Francisco was 8-for-12 on third down attempts).

Pro Football Focus, as only they can, noted the inadequacies and downright failings of the Giants defense against a 49ers offense that simply hasn’t been all that good this year.


The Giants missed six tackles on the day, PFF noting that cornerback Janoris Jenkins had three of those misses. Jenkins had a terrible day, flailing badly several times on big plays including Garrett Celek’s 47-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.

PFF graded Jenkins at 31.1, the lowest of any defender on the field for the Giants. In addition, Ryan A. Smith from the analytics site notes that “He allowed four catches on four targets for 111 yards and a TD to four different receivers (perfect 158.3 passer rating).”

It wasn’t just the backend for the Giants that was a problem.

Their pass rush, so good a year ago, struggled again to create pressure and collapse the pocket. It was simply nonexistent in this game.

According to Pro Football Focus, 49ers rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard was pressured on just four of 27 passing attempts.

Smith, an analyst for PFF, writes that Beathard “was 18/21 279 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, & 130.7 passer rating” when not under pressure. 

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