EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The way the San Francisco 49ers played on Sunday afternoon, missing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and several other starters was not an issue against the woeful and winless Giants.
Nick Mullens, the backup quarterback, threw for 343 yards and a touchdown, and the Niners controlled the ball on offense, took it away on defense and had another easy day on the East Coast in a 36-9 win at MetLife Stadium.
“I’m real happy with this week,” said Coach Kyle Shanahan, who wore a mask on Sunday after being fined $100,000 for failing to do so last week in a game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium in which his team lost six starters to injuries on a new field his players criticized.
“We pulled together throughout the week,” Shanahan said of the concern about the field. “I just got real good energy and vibes from the guys from Wednesday, when we started practicing, all the way to last night at the hotel meeting. And then today. I thought they played very hard all four quarters. I was very proud of our team.”
San Francisco played a near flawless game as Mullens completed 25 of 36 passes, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to running back Jeff Wilson. The Niners outgained the Giants, 420-231, held the ball for 39 minutes 44 seconds and forced three turnovers without giving the ball up. The Giants did not run a play in the red zone.
“Nick was great, very poised,” Shanahan said. “We went on a lot of long drives today. They’re better than not scoring, but long drives can get a little bit exhausting. Especially for me. I don’t want to have to call that many plays.”
Wilson, Jerick McKinnon and Brandon Aiyuk also scored on runs for the Niners (2-1), who stayed in West Virginia to prep for the game. Robbie Gould added three field goals for San Francisco, which beat the Jets, 31-13, here last week and denied Giants Coach Joe Judge a chance for his first win this week.
The Niners had Garoppolo (ankle), defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas (knees) and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman hurt against the Jets. They complained about the new turf after the game, saying it was “sticky” and led to injuries.
The NFL had the field re-examined, and it met all standards.
San Francisco scored on seven of its first eight possessions. It would have been all eight but a snap-hold problem led to Gould’s missing a 55-yarder. He connected from 52, 32 and 26 yards. The Niners’ ninth possession ended the game
New York, which came into the game as the N.F.L.’s lowest-scoring offense, got three field goals from Graham Gano, the second of which tied the score, 6-6, midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Daniel Jones turned the ball over twice.
“We are not looking for excuses or pointing fingers,” Judge said after his team’s worst effort of the season. “We are not looking for shortcuts. We are looking to build this thing and build it the right way. We’re going to come back Wednesday and work our butts off to get this thing right.”
New York was tied, 6-6, midway through the second quarter when the Niners drove 75 yards in 12 plays to take the lead, aided by an illegal contact penalty against the rookie Darnay Holmes on third-and-22.
McKinnon scored on a 10-yard run with 1:13 left in the half, and a 26-yard field goal by Gould pushed the lead to 16-6 at the half. The field goal was set up when linebacker Fred Warner stepped in front of Jones’s pass at the New York 32.
Jones finished 17 of 32 for 179 yards, but the second half was all San Francisco.
San Francisco will return home from the East Coast and then face the Philadelphia Eagles in a Sunday night game. The Giants will travel to face the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1994. From 1995 to 2015, the Rams were based in St. Louis.