© St. Petersburg Times, published October 2, 2001
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Efficiency overcame emotion Monday night as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Jets 19-17 in New York's first home game since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
After a tribute to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center 10 miles from Giants Stadium, the Jets sputtered offensively and were sloppy with their tackling.
Meanwhile, the 49ers displayed the proper way to run a clock-eating offense, rushing for 233 yards behind rookie Kevin Barlow and veteran Garrison Hearst.
"We were happy to see our ground game pick it up because in the first couple of games, we were not real effective with it," 49ers coach Steve Mariucci said. "The run game starts with the offensive line."
Barlow gained 83 yards on nine rushes and Hearst had 95 on 20 attempts against New York's soft defensive scheme. Both had 58 yards going into the game.
When Jeff Garcia needed to hit a pass, he was on target, finishing 16-for-20 for 141 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown to Terrell Owens.
Jose Cortez kicked four field goals and the 49ers throttled New York's unimaginative offense in beating the Jets on the road for the fifth straight time.
"I think the guys did a great job with preparation," Garcia said. "We felt we could run the ball inside, and the offensive line did a great job all night."
Before New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Gov. George Pataki, along with acting New Jersey Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, served as honorary captains, Jets coach Herman Edwards presented the game ball from last week's win at New England to Giuliani. Edwards had dedicated that victory to the city.
The Jets set about getting another with an 88-yard drive that lasted 9:22 and featured a superb over-the-shoulder 34-yard reception by Wayne Chrebet. Curtis Martin dived in from the 2.
The Jets managed an 84-yard drive in the dying moments, with Martin scoring from the 1 with 50 seconds left. The Niners recovered the onside kick.
After the Jets' initial score, the Niners came back behind Barlow, who had 44 yards on four carries and gains of 15 and 25 on the tying drive. Garcia hit Owens over the middle for the score.
Dana Stubblefield blocked John Hall's 50-yard field goal try, and the 49ers staged an eight-minute march capped by Cortez's 19-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead. It could have been more, but Garcia was stopped on a rollout at the Jets 1 by Mo Lewis.
Garcia, who hit his first nine passes, guided the 49ers to Cortez's 49-yard field goal as the half ended.
San Francisco's Eric Johnson fumbled on the second play of the second half at the 49ers 41. Tom Barndt recovered and Hall made a 24-yarder.