49ers lose 4th straight, Giants win 29-17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Who cares that the New York Giants’ run on the road is over? The Super Bowl champions are winning at home this season.

Brandon Jacobs ran for two touchdowns, Eli Manning threw for one, Michael Johnson had two interceptions and the Giants managed to make fewer mistakes than the woeful San Francisco 49ers in a 29-17 victory on Sunday in a sloppily played game.

The victory was the fourth straight at home for the Giants (5-1) — one more than they had last season — and it sent the 49ers (2-5) to their fourth straight loss.

“Last year I don’t want to say we didn’t want to come home and play,” said defensive end Justin Tuck, who had two sacks. “But we felt more comfortable on the road.”

Not this year.

“It’s fun to win here when you get fans like this behind you,” added defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who had a key fumble recovery. “They really understand the game and they love it. It gives you an added incentive that makes it important to us.”

While the fans had a lot to cheer about, this game wasn’t pretty for either team, especially San Francisco, which turned over the ball three times, allowed six sacks, a safety and had 13 penalties for 134 yards. Combined it handed New York 19 points.

The problem for San Francisco is that the season is slipping away quickly.

“We’ve got to turn this thing around,” center Eric Heitmann said. “I think everyone on the team feels this isn’t the same team (5-11) we had last year. This is a different team, a much better team. This is a team that should not be 2-5. The character on this team will do everything to turn this around, and it starts right now with Seattle coming up.”

The Giants had their ugly moments, too. On the verge of building a 17-point lead late in the third quarter, Manny Lawson blocked John Carney’s field-goal attempt and Nate Clements returned it 74 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 24-17.

Carney atoned moments later with a 48-yard field goal, and the defense iced the game with a sack that led to a safety when receiver Josh Morgan kicked the ball out of his end zone.

“We’re happy to be at 5-and-1,” said Manning, who was 16-of-31 for 161 yards. “We’ve played some outstanding games, offensively and defensively. Today our defense played well. That’s football and you’re going to go through all sorts of situations. It’s all about finding ways to win, to gut it out. That’s what we did.”

New York never trailed in rebounding from a loss in Cleveland on Monday night that ended its 11-game road winning streak, 12 including the Super Bowl win over New England.

Jacobs gave New York the lead with a 26-yard first-quarter run. He stretched it to 14-3 with a 2-yard run early in the second quarter on a drive in which Clements was flagged for 46 yards in penalties with a pass interference and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

A 30-yard touchdown pass from J.T. O’Sullivan to Morgan closed the gap to 14-10, but Johnson’s first interception and return to the 9-yard line led to a chip-shot field goal by Carney, who got the starting nod ahead of Lawrence Tynes.

Johnson’s second interception in the end zone late in the half prevented the 49ers from tying the game.

“You are going to make mistakes,” said O’Sullivan, who was 16-of-28 for 256 yards. “But you have to be able to turn that corner and realize the game is going to have more opportunities.”

Manning stretched the lead to 24-10 early in the third quarter after the 49ers botched a handoff deep in their territory and Kiwanuka recovered at the 18. The quarterback cashed in with a 6-yard scoring pass to Plaxico Burress.

New York seemed on the verge of blowing the game open late in the third quarter when a 35-yard screen pass to Derrick Ward and a pass interference penalty put the ball deep in San Francisco territory. However, Jay Alford bounced his snap to Jeff Feagles and that led to the block that made the game interesting.

“The frustrating thing is that we are always in the game,” Clements said. “We have to find a way to pull it out.”

The Giants were almost as bad as San Francisco with penalties, collecting 11 for 80 yards.

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