Coming off a 19-11 win in the Nation’s Capital, the 49ers return home to take on NFC East leaders, the New York Giants. The 49ers now sit at 7-1 on the season, 2-1 against the NFC East, the only loss coming at Candlestick to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime. San Fran is leading the NFC West by an astounding 5 games over Seattle. The Giants come into the game 6-2, leading the Cowboys by 2 games for first place in the NFC East. This game could go a long way to determining playoff seeds come January.
The Giants come into the game sporting the 6th best passing attack in the league, as they average 282 yards per game, but they only average 88 yards per game on the ground, which is 29th in the NFL, which isn’t going cut it against the league’s best rush defense, as San Fran is only allowing 70 yards rushing per game. The Giants will need to lean a lot on leading passer Eli Manning, and his new favorite target Victor Cruz, if they expect to come out on the winning end. New York will once again be without leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw, who is out with a foot injury, leaving the rushing duties up to Brandon Jacobs.
San Francisco comes into the game with the 6th best rushing attack, led by Frank Gore the team averages 137 yards on the ground, and the run is the 49ers strength as they don’t rely heavily on the pass, as they only average 173 yards per game which is 30th in the league. Alex Smith isn’t require to use his arm to put the 49ers in the lead, he is only asked to keep them on the field and to keep defenses honest and not just pack 8 men in the box against the stout run game. The Giants defense comes into the game giving up 127 yards on the ground, so they will see a very heavy dose of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter.
The 49ers have not beaten the Giants since 2003, when they won 39-38 in the Wild Card round of the Playoffs. That should change this Sunday, as the Giants are just too streaky for me to pick them to win against the 49ers. The Giants defense gives up too many yards against the run, and with the way Gore is running this year he will go wild in this game. While the Giants should keep it close against a suspect pass defense, with the way the 49ers offense is going thus far this season the 49ers will win this one and put themselves one step closer to locking up a playoff spot.
Final: 49ers 34, Giants 20