New York Giants: Game 9 Preview At San Francisco
By Michael Stewart (@golferbad)
Introduction: The 1-7 Giants for the first time this season will be facing a team with a worse record than them as they travel to play the 0-8 San Francisco 49ers. This is a battle between two teams with lost seasons and competing for at least the 2nd overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft.
Odds makers currently have a 50/50 split on the projected winner with both teams featuring Paper Mache defenses. The Giants have allowed the most touchdowns through the air in the NFL this season and their run defense isn’t much better.
The 49ers defense is currently ranked 27th in the league to the Giants 30th with both teams surrendering over 25 points per game. On offense, both teams are ranked near the bottom with the Giants ranked 28th and the 49ers ranked 24th. Both teams have failed in the turnover department with the Giants at -4 and the 49ers at -3.
On paper, the Giants should have an enormous edge at quarterback with Eli Manning against rookie C.J Beathard. This matchup will not resemble the great games between these two teams in years past. This is simply two teams going nowhere and battling for the 1st or 2nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
Top 3 Matchups:
- Eli Manning vs C.J Beathard: Of all the player matchups in this game, none is more relevant than the Manning-vs-Beathard matchup. Manning must outplay the rookie quarterback and put the Giants offense in better scoring situations. I am not suggestion that the Giants should abandon the running game, however; I am implying that the Giants need to utilize the talents and experience of Manning and he needs to be the best player on the field on Sunday
- Giant’s defense vs Rams defense: Both teams have struggled on the defensive side of the ball and I expect the same in this game. However; the defense that can somehow make the big players and more or less dictate the game more should squeak out a victory on Sunday.
- Turnovers: Both teams have had their share of turnovers that has led to losses this season. Whichever team that can hold onto the football and capitalize on the other team’s mistakes will have a huge advantage in this game.
What to look for: Offensively, both teams will attempt to display a balance attack mixing in the running game to open up the passing game. On defense, both teams are not high in the sack department, but I expect both teams to blitz more in this game. The 49ers especially must pressure Manning and not allow him extra time in the pocket to make a play. The Giants must pressure rookie quarterback C.J Beathard and force him into mistakes. Special teams could play a big part in this game by providing better field position as both teams have struggled in the points department.
Final Score Summary: This game could be the least watched game on Sunday if you’re not a true Giant or 49er fans. The outcome of this game could go in any direction from a close game to a blowout.
Traveling through three-time zones could have an effect on the Giants especially early in the game, so the first quarter for the Giants could be pivotal in this game. With both teams obviously playing out the season with no chance of a playoff spot; the main question will be which team still has enough pride and heart in them.
I see this game playing out as a close battle with both sides having opportunities to make big plays. Look for Evan Engram to have a big game as Manning’s primary target. Overall, this should be a close game, but in the end I think the Giants find a way behind the arm of Eli Manning.