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Thursday Night Football review: McCaffrey equals Rice's touchdown record as 49ers beat Giants

The San Francisco 49ers won their third game of the new NFL season, with Christian McCaffrey equalling Jerry Rice's record in the 30-12 win over the New York Giants.

McCaffrey scored in the second quarter of Thursday's battle to equal three-time Super Bowl champion Rice's record of scoring a touchdown in 12 consecutive games set in 1987.

The former Carolina Panthers quarterback scored his third touchdown of the new campaign as the Giants continued to struggle without some of their key players.

McCaffrey honored to share Rice's record

49ers star McCaffrey will be crucial to his team's chances of winning the NFL Championship in February as he showed with 85 yards and a score on 18 carries plus five catches for 34 yards on Thursday.

After matching the 49ers legend's consecutive touchdowns record, McCaffrey told reporters: "Obviously, scoring touchdowns is a team thing.

"The offensive line did a great job blocking; I just had to hit the hole. But that's a huge honor to be mentioned with somebody like that."

Purdy continues solid play

McCaffrey wasn't the only 49ers player making an impression on Thursday night, as quarterback Brock Purdy once again caught the eye.

San Francisco's 30-12 success was their 13th regular-season victory in a row, meaning Purdy has now won the first eight regular-season matches of his career. That record is the third-longest streak in NFL history, and he added to his collection of touchdown passes with two fine throws.

The first picked out Ronnie Bell in the second quarter, while he also found Deebo Samuel on a deep route in the fourth to finish with a career-high 310 passing yards.

Purdy's rise has been remarkable after he was last year's "Mr. Irrelevant", the last pick in the NFL draft. His only defeat as a NFL starter came in last season's play-offs, with the 49ers losing the NFC Championship game to the Philadelphia Eagles.

49ers' experienced players take charge

In the first few weeks of the new NFL season, the 49ers fans have not seen much from Samuel or tight end George Kittle. Samuel and Purdy's partnership got off to a slow start before Thursday, but the form of Brandon Aiyuk kept the 49ers ticking over.

Aiyuk was ruled out just before kick-off on Thursday, but thanks to the level of depth within the 49ers' locker room, he was not missed as they continued their march towards the NFC West title.

It was not all about the offense either, with Nick Bosa finally getting into his rhythm for the 49ers. 

Before Thursday, Bosa had recorded zero sacks in his previous five games but he pounced on Daniel Jones and almost caused a safety, helping to prevent the Giants from gaining momentum on their visit to the west coast. Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, signed as a free agent from the Eagles, also contributed a sack.

Giants still struggling on offense

After making the playoffs last season, the New York Giants had big hopes for this year, especially after tying Daniel Jones to a new contract.

Running back Saquon Barkley missed Thursday's game with an ankle injury, and it is not known when he will return to action. Based on their performance at Levi's Stadium, the Giants will want him back as soon as possible.

The Giants' offensive line has struggled all season, and their 40-0 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys is no doubt still lingering in the players' minds.

The decision to bring in tight end Darren Waller went down well, but Jones and the former Las Vegas Raiders star have yet to build a connection. Waller had three catches on six targets for 20 yards, and those stats need to improve if they are going to be without Barkley for several weeks.

Jalin Hyatt also had a night to forget, as he was not even targeted on Thursday.

Overall, the Giants' offense is struggling under coach Brian Daboll, and the schedule does not get much easier as they prepare to host the Seattle Seahawks next week.

The 49ers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to town, and on recent form, Kyle Shanahan's side should cruise to victory and take their record to 4-0.

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