The San Francisco 49ers completed a New York/New York sweep Sunday afternoon, riding a stingy defense and 343 passing yards from backup quarterback Nick Mullens to a 36-9 victory over the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J.
Mullens passed for one touchdown while backup running back Jeff Wilson Jr. scored on a run and a catch as the 49ers (2-1) rolled up a 420-231 advantage in total yards and a 40-20 dominance in possession minutes despite missing more than a half-dozen key players, including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, tight end George Kittle, defensive end Nick Bosa and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Coming off a game in which they kept the New York Jets out of the end zone for the first 58 minutes of a 31-13 win at the Meadowlands, the 49ers responded to a week of training in West Virginia with another stellar defensive effort on the road, forcing three Giants turnovers while giving up no touchdowns.
After Graham Gano’s third field goal of the game, a 47-yarder, had inched the Giants (0-3) within 16-9 midway through the third quarter, Mullens led an eight-play, 75-yard drive that doubled the margin when Brandon Aiyuk dashed 19 yards untouched on a reverse.
Wilson’s two fourth-quarter scores iced the win, one coming on a 19-yard pass from Mullens and the second on a 2-yard run with 3:35 to play.
Mullens finished 25-for-36 with no interceptions. His favorite target was Aiyuk, as the rookie hauled in five balls for 70 yards.
Quarterback Daniel Jones led the Giants in rushing with five carries for 49 yards, but he struggled in the passing game, going just 17-for-32 for 179 yards with one interception.
Golden Tate had a team-high five catches for 36 yards for the Giants.
The 49ers used 22 minutes of possession and two Giants turnovers to build a 16-6 halftime lead, scoring twice in the final 1:07 of the second quarter.
The 49ers’ Robbie Gould (52, 32) and Giants’ Gano (52, 42) had traded field goals before San Francisco finally got into the end zone at the end of one of its long drives, getting a 10-yard touchdown run from Jerick McKinnon for a 13-6 lead with 1:07 left in the half.
The Giants attempted to counter quickly, but San Francisco linebacker Fred Warner intercepted a Jones pass two plays later, setting up a third Gould field goal, this one from 26 yards, just six seconds before halftime.
The 49ers enjoyed a 221-100 advantage in total yards in the first 30 minutes.