Thursday Night Football Winners and Losers: 49ers Defense Thrashes, Deebo Samuel Dashes While Giants Flounder

    Who impressed in Week 3 of the league's Thursday Night Football slate? Here are the winners and losers from the 49ers and Giants game.

    Thursday Night Football showcased the San Francisco 49ers‘ powerful might in a 30-12 trouncing of the New York Giants.

    Was it a complete game, though, from the now 3-0 Niners? Did anything stand out on the Giants’ side? Here’s our list of winners and losers from Thursday.

    Winners From Week 3 Thursday Night Football

    San Francisco WR Deebo Samuel

    From getting the wind knocked out of him, to snatching the oxygen from the Giants’ lungs to end the game, Samuel gashed and bruised the New York defenders.

    He ended the night slipping through the Giants’ defense for 129 receiving yards. After briefly heading to the medical due to a hit to the back, he finished the game and the Giants here.

    San Francisco QB Brock Purdy

    Purdy overcame some very questionable throws — ones that nearly became two interceptions.

    MORE: QB Power Rankings 2023

    Following the floaters, Purdy redeemed himself, found his rhythm, and ended up delivering his first career 300-yard night (310 versus the Giants). He showed tremendous poise with a defender in his face by delivering a tight window throw to WR Ronnie Bell.

    San Francisco TE George Kittle

    The “People’s Tight End” played an instrumental role in getting Purdy into a better groove.

    Kittle went on to snatch seven passes for 90 yards and averaged 12.9 yards per catch. Oh, and he may have given defensive coordinator Steve Wilks the hint that he can play some defensive back too by showing his range and instincts.

    The 49ers Defense

    At this point, it’s time to put the thought of this defense struggling without former DC DeMeco Ryans under a headstone.

    MORE: NFL Defense Rankings 2023

    Three games in and all the 49ers have done is reestablish the dominance from the 2022 season. Even scarier about this unit is the arrival of the “gravedigger” DT Javon Hargrave, who showed the power and leverage the 49ers signed him for on this sack of QB Daniel Jones.

    By the way, five different 49er defenders swooped up four solo tackles, including our last winner of the night.

    San Francisco LB Oren Burks

    Burks was originally brought in to help bolster the special teams unit.

    He ended up not only becoming one of the five who collected the four aforementioned stops, but he also led the stacked 49ers defense with two tackles for a loss. That includes this nine-yard stop behind the line of scrimmage.

    In the Middle

    New York LB Micah McFadden

    He’s the lone positive for the Giants. Unfortunately, he played on a defense that looked awful at wrapping up Samuel, RB Christian McCaffrey, and the rest of the Niners. Still, the second-year linebacker delivered an impressive nine solo tackles, including four that were behind the line of scrimmage.

    He was the only Giant in double figures for tackles.

    San Francisco Pass Protection

    While Purdy settled, this offensive line still surrendered two sacks.

    So far this season, the pass protection is the major question mark moving forward for San Fran’. Already this season, the 49ers have surrendered six sacks.

    In Week 1, it was three allowed against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On TNF, the protection gave up multiple sacks against a defense that has allowed 30 or more points in all three games this season. The fact Purdy delivered his first 300-yard game with this protection saves them from the next category.


    New York Offense

    Yes, RB Saquon Barkley wasn’t available, and TE Darren Waller appeared to be banged up.

    Still, only 137 passing yards and just 29 rushing yards on the evening for a 2022 playoff team is ugly.

    The lead rusher on the night? RB Matt Brieda with only 17 rushing yards on four carriers. The best receiving option ended up being WR Darius Slayton, who only caught three receptions for 32 yards.

    San Francisco OT Trent Williams

    Yes, football is an emotional game, and tempers can flare.

    However, there’s still no excuse for the punch on New York DT A’Shawn Robinson toward the end of the first half.

    For what it’s worth, the All-Pro is extremely lucky he wasn’t tossed out of the game. That could’ve also meant suspension. This offensive line plays so much better with him out there. Still, the league office may put his altercation with Robinson under review.

    New York’s Tackling

    To reiterate, this defense has given up a lot of points already. The way they’re tackling warrants the blame.

    While Samuel is considered one of the harder players to tackle, Giants players still came up too high in trying to wrap him up. The same was the case facing McCaffrey on this run.

    Second-year defensive coordinator Don Martindale is probably going to re-preach pad level and wrapping up the next time the Giants have their defensive meeting.

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