San Francisco 49ers 30-12 New York Giants: Brock Purdy helps the Niners extend their winning streak, as Giants struggle without star running back Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants have gone back under .500 after Thursday night’s away loss to the San Francisco 49ers in one of the greatest NFL rivalries to exist, despite their star running back Saquon Barkley being sidelined with a high ankle sprain.

Niners wideout Deebo Samuel got his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter when quarterback Brock Purdy threw a 27-yard pass to him with 5:58 to play, increasing the score to 30-12 for San Francisco. 

Purdy, who was the last pick of last year’s draft, a.k.a nicknamed ‘Mr. Irrelevant’, is carrying on his excellent from last year into the new season, as he completed 25 of 37 dimes for 310 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Niners RB Christian McCaffrey scored a touchdown in his 12th straight game to help San Francisco extend its regular-season winning streak to 13 games.  

The 49ers weren’t particularly sharp on offense in their home opener but got enough from McCaffrey and on big runs after catches by Samuel and George Kittle to earn their second 3-0 start in 25 seasons.

Deebo Samuel scored the last touchdown for the 49ers with 5:58 to play in the fourth quarter

Deebo Samuel scored the last touchdown for the 49ers with 5:58 to play in the fourth quarter

Niners QB Brock Purdy, 23, is continuing to defy his critics with yet another win this season

Niners QB Brock Purdy, 23, is continuing to defy his critics with yet another win this season 

 The defense did the rest against the short-handed Giants (1-2), who fell behind by double digits at the half for the third time in three games this season.

With the running game hampered by Barkley’s absence and the offensive line overmatched without left tackle Andrew Thomas and left guard Ben Bredeson, the Giants struggled to move the ball and finished with 150 yards of offense.

They managed two field goals in the first half and scored on Matt Breida’s 8-yard run on a third-quarter drive that needed just 15 yards thanks to two penalties on the Niners.

Daniel Jones was often on the run and couldn’t get anything going downfield. He went 22 for 32 for 137 yards and an interception.

Purdy threw a 9-yard TD pass to rookie Ronnie Bell in the first half before assisting  Samuel for a late TD in the fourth quarter to improve to 8-0 as a starter in the regular season. 

But he also avoided several potential turnovers and had much of his production on short passes that his receivers turned into long gains.

McCaffrey ran for 85 yards, added 34 more receiving and scored on a 4-yard run that made it 17-3 late in the second quarter. That matched Jerry Rice’s franchise record with 12 straight games in the regular season or playoffs with a TD and is three shy of the NFL mark.

The Giants once again found themselves in a big hole at halftime, trailing 17-6. It was an improvement from the first two weeks when they trailed Dallas 26-0 in the opener and Arizona 20-0 in Week 2. They rallied to beat the Cardinals with a strong second half.

New York also got down 28-0 in a playoff loss last season to the Eagles, marking the first time since 2003-04 that they trailed by double digits at the half in four straight games.

There was a small scuffle late in the first half when the Niners were trying to take a knee to run out the clock. San Francisco left tackle Trent Williams took offense when New York’s A’Shawn Robinson shoved Aaron Banks and Williams shoved him with two hands. Robinson appeared to throw a jab toward Williams, who then responded with a punch to the facemask.

Offsetting penalties were called and referee Shaun Hochuli needed to stop players on both teams from running to the locker room in order to run one more play.