It’s another primetime game for the San Francisco 49ers, this time against yet another bad football team. The New York Football Giants come into Levi’s Stadium, where the air conditions are less than desirable due to the ongoing fires in Northern California. The conditions have improved, so the game will continue as planned.
Looking at the Giants
The Eli Manning hate continues to grow. He faces a 49ers secondary that hasn’t performed up to standards other than a nice outing last week against Oakland. The question is whether Odell Beckham has a great game or not. Whether he lines up against Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon or any other player, he’s still going to make plays all over the field. He’s Odell Beckham after all.
Saquon Barkley, a player many 49er fans coveted in the draft, will be a terror for this defense. His ability to churn downfield in big chunks, avoid tackles, break tackles, and do everything the 49ers defense can’t do well is going to be a problem.
The Giants offense averages 18.8 points per game and rushes for 77.9 yards per game. Both of those stats rank among the bottom of the league, which should bode well for the 49ers defense.
The Giants defense are also very poor, ranking near the bottom of the league in almost every categorical stat. The key one to look at is the rush yards allowed per game, which they allow 122.4 per game, good for 25th in the league. This is an area the 49ers should do well in, which we’ll get into later.
Looking at the 49ers
Oh man, what a debut it was for Nick Mullens. A near perfect quarterback rating with 262 yards and three touchdowns is better than anyone could’ve asked for. It’s surely better than anything C.J. Beathard has been able to produce, but who knows how Beathard would’ve faired against a terrible Raiders defense. Mullens is facing another bad defense, so let’s see if he can replicate his fantastic debut. He even got verified mid-game!
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The run game will be interesting. The 49ers are fourth in the league with 134.7 rush yards per game, more than the Giants defense allows. Matt Breida and Alfred Morris will have to be key today, and we know how good Breida is when healthy. Raheem Mostert is out for the rest of the season with a broken arm, which he suffered against Oakland. Matt Dayes, a running back on the practice squad, has been promoted to the active roster so we’ll see how he is utilized today.
Other names to look for on the 49ers offense is George Kittle, because he is arguably one of the best tight ends in the league. Marquise Goodwin is another, who had a great game against the Giants last season. I also want to see more targets to Kendrick Bourne, who has been pretty solid so far this season but could improve more.
On the defensive side of things, the 49ers need to bring pressure constantly against Manning. They destroyed Derek Carr last week, but every team does. Can Cassius Marsh, Dekoda Watson and DeForest Buckner feast on Manning this time? Also, the tackling will have to be much better today with Barkley and Beckham on the other side. But don’t forget Sterling Shepard, who was also great in last year’s matchup between the two teams. If the 49ers defense can provide turnovers and sacks, they should win this game.
Prediction: 49ers 30, Giants 23