After the offensive performance by the offense last week, the 49ers are looking to rebound this Sunday Night against the New York Giants.
Both teams aren’t playing very good, but the Giants are doing enough to maintain a .500 record and due to the ugliness that is the NFC East, the Giants can finish 9-7 and they will have a reasonable chance at winning their division.
While the Giants don’t have a great offensive line and have their issues on defense, the 49ers have a lot more problems they need to correct.
Last week against the Packers, Colin Kaepernick played like a backup quarterback. Though he was under pressure much of the game due to the offensive line, he missed a lot of throws by either overthrowing, underthrowing, or just not recognizing the open man.
If the Niners are going to win this week, Kaepernick has to start seeing the whole field and find the open receiver. He cannot afford to walk into sacks and miss open guys.
The blueprint to beating the Niners is simple: Stop the run and make Kaepernick beat you in the air. It’s a formula that the Giants will try to emulate and it’s up the 49ers to make the Giants have to respect the whole offense.
When the 49ers have the ball:
The offensive line has to keep Kaepernick upright and make holes for Carlos Hyde. They can no longer afford consistent bad play. There is no excuse this week as the Giants will be likely missing their best pass rusher, Robert Ayers, their best linebacker Devon Kennard and defensive end George Selvie. Even Kennard’s backup, Jonathan Casillas, is listed on the injury report. We’ll see who suits up, but if the Giants are playing with a number of backups on the front seven, the Niners’ offense will be without any excuse if they can’t put up points.
I believe Carlos Hyde will have a good game and the passing game will play better. Vernon Davis and Joe Staley look like they’re on track to play and there are no other major injuries.
It’s up to the Niners to get at least 24 points on Sunday.
When the Giants have the ball:
The Giants don’t have a good offensive line either, but they are good at getting the ball out quick to receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Reuben Randle.
The Giants will try to establish a ground game with Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, but the biggest threat is the deep ball to Beckham.
The Niners have a good pass rush with Aaron Lynch (3 sacks, 7 tackles for loss), but with Ahmad Brooks not playing this week due to the death of his sister, it will be up to Corey Lemonier and Eli Harold to pick up the slack on the outside, and Tank Carradine to get pressure from the line.
The other thing to worry about is the screen game to Jennings. Michael Wilhoite has been beaten a lot in both dumpoffs to the running backs and by tight ends. It’s something that the defense has to clean up in order to keep the pressure on Eli Manning.
I would expect Defensive Coordinator Eric Mangini to continue dialing up creative blitzes and for the Niners to get a couple of turnovers this week.
The Bottom Line…
It’s been a very rough three weeks but Niner fans should expect a victory this week. The Giants are not a powerhouse and they are banged up. If the Niners are going to compete in any way this season, they must win this game.