By Jerrell Richardson
New York Giants (3-6)READ MORE: Suspect Wanted In January Santa Cruz County Shooting Found In Idaho
Head Coach: Tom Coughlin
Players To Watch: Eli Manning, Andre Williams, Odell Beckham
The Giants have lost 4 games in a row, and would not seem to be a team that should pose a problem for a 49ers team that is coming off a road win over the Saints. However, New York is a team known for suddenly figuring everything out in the second half of the season after appearing dead in the water for most of the first. Even when looking at the Giants 4 prior losses, they have come at the hands of the Eagles, Cowboys, Colts and Seahawks, so it’s not as though they are losing to bad teams. But they have be beaten convincingly in most of those games, and a team that even when playing at home, should not be too much for San Francisco to overcome. It will depend on which Eli Manning shows up, but at the end of 4 quarters the 49ers have to be confident that they will win their second straight contest.
When New York Has the Ball: Advantage 49ers
The Giants offense has had to deal with the loss of their biggest playmaker in Victor Cruz and its best back in Rashad Jennings and has understandably struggled. Quarterback Eli Manning has had a respectable season throwing 16 touchdowns to only 5 picks, but he is getting use to some new players around him, and the New York offense has yet to find their rhythm in 2014.
Since losing Cruz, rookie wide out Odell Beckham has emerged has the team’s biggest threat, but is still a player that the San Francisco secondary, which is playing as well as any unit in the league, currently ranked 5th defending the pass, should be able to contain. When dropping back to pass Manning will also look to get the ball to his tight end Larry Donnell who is second on the Giants in receptions and first in touchdowns, and in the red zone Manning will look for Daniel Fells who has 4 touchdowns and just 9 total receptions this season.
The Giants come into this game averaging 110.5 running the ball which makes them right around the league average. Even without Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, running the ball has not worked out well for 49er opponents, and with Jennings in danger of sitting this one out, it’s hard to imagine rookie Andre Williams having a successful day on the ground. San Francisco is allowing 91.2 yards per game and should be able to hold the New York team as under that figure.READ MORE: Dixie Fire Update: Wildfire Grows To 142,940 Acres; Major Spot Fire Threatens Twain
When San Francisco Has the Ball: Advantage 49ers
The 49ers offense has certainly had its downs, but seem to have rediscovered their identity just in time for this game against the Giants. This is no longer the stout New York defense that lead them to 2 Super Bowls, ranked 22nd in the league stopping the run, and based on their performance last week, San Francisco figures to run the ball early and often.
Frank Gore will again get the majority of the touches, but both he and Carlos Hyde should expect a heavy work load this week. Even without a real commitment to running the ball, the 49ers are still among the league’s best, (ranked 10th in the NFL), running the ball and should be able to exploit the Giants suspect front. New York is dead last in the league stopping the run so the 49ers figure to be able to move the ball on the ground.
As it did just a week ago, a good running game will open things up for the San Francisco passing game, that when allowed to supplement and balance the running game is far more effective than the other way around. While the Giants are better against the pass than the run that’s more by default. They are 25th defending the pass, so passing the ball shouldn’t be an issue for San Francisco either. The 49ers enter the game averaging 221.7 yards throwing the ball which is only 22nd in the league, but with a dominant running attack is actually respectable. They will want to get it around 250 passing yards this week, which is easily reachable when considering the multiple threats that Colin Kaepernick has at his disposal and who they are playing.
49ers Will Win Second Straight
The bottom line is that the Giants have a coach and quarterback that make them a threat every single week. They will be prepared, and with Manning under center and not turning the ball over at a record pace they will make San Francisco earn a win. However, without two of their key offensive players to lean on, and a defense that is far from dominant, the Giants will lose their 5th straight game. Simply put the 49ers are the better team and playing better. Of course they need to take care of the ball and execute in all phases, but the 49ers will outlast New York, and win their second s
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Jerrell Richardson is a Bay Area native who due to a college career at San Diego State University has grown an appreciation for all things sports related in California. His heart will always remain in San Francisco though where he currently resides and covers everything from the San Francisco 49ers and Giants to the San Jose Sharks and California Bears Baseball team. Jerrell is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com.