Coming off a loss Monday night that was like a punch in the mouth, the New York Giants come home Sunday to host the San Francisco 49’ers in an NFC showdown. The Giants seemed to be the best team in the league before a riled up Cleveland team got a hold of them Monday night in the dawg pound and handed them a rocking 35-14 loss. They outplayed the Giants in every part of the game, and even banged up Giants QB Eli Manning.
The Niners are in the midst of a tough stretch. They were hanging Sunday with the Eagles when they fell apart in the fourth quarter, allowing 23 points including a late pick for a score in a 40-26 loss. They have lost three in a row, and the luster of a 2-1 start seems gone. Add the struggles of J.T. O’Sullivan, and the task of winning in the Meadowlands seems even tougher.
The Giants will look to have a better week of practice, and now with a loss behind them, they will stop the talk of being the best in the league and will start to be more focused. They need to stick with the running game longer, as they did run over the Browns, but becuase they were losing, they got away from it. Manning threw three INT’s in the loss, so he for sure needs to take better care of the ball.
Look for New York to run often with their three big backs – Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward. The Niners allow 124.2 yards per game, and the Giants should be able to go over that mark rather easily. Manning has to get back on track, and some early success should get him back in the right direction. Look for he and favorite target Plax Burress to combine quite a bit.
The Niners need to pressure Manning, and try to force him into some turnovers like Monday night. If they want a shot at a win, they need to get O’Sullivan some time to throw, and some success running with Frank Gore will help as well. Gore is putting up 87.3 yards per game, and he needs to be an even bigger part of the offense. The pressure though will be on the D to improve from allowing their 27.8 points per game.
Look for the Giants to get back to the basics, and be more loose at home in front of their fans. While they ran into a buzzsaw on Monday night, this game is more of what they need right now, and they should have no problems coming away with their fifth win of the season.