As the San Francisco 49ers (5-4) prepare to wrap-up their mini two-game road trip, they will try to end it on a positive note as they take on the New York Giants (3-6). Two teams who have a long rivaled history dating back to the 80’s, it will surely be a physical blood bath. But the question remains, who will win the game? Despite the 49ers dealing with numerous injuries this season, I believe in the end they will come out on top.
Football is all about matchups and when you look at the 49ers 9th ranked rushing attack compared to the Giants last ranked rush defense, it’s a no brainer what OC Greg Roman should do. A team that is built to smash-mouth their way down in the trenches, look for the 49ers to do just that as they ride RB Frank Gore and RB Carlos Hyde to the ground. However, do not count out dual-threat QB Colin Kaepernick as he too can run the ball. Last week, the Seahawks ran wild on the Giants defense as they finished with a whopping 45 carries for 350 yards and five touchdowns. Can you feel the pain? I did as I went up against RB Marshawn Lynch in fantasy last week and lost by four points. Grrr! But in any case look for Roman to ride the run-game as Gore should finish with a stat line similar to 19 carries for 109 yards and one touchdown.
With the run game doing it’s part while winning the time of possession, look for Kaepernick to benefit in the passing game. In fact, I fully expect WR Stevie Johnson and WR Anquan Boldin to have nice days on limited targets. Boldin will certainly command the underneath crossing routes while Johnson takes care of the comebacks, hitches, digs and posts. And with Kaepernick being able to have his pick of the litter as the Giants defense will have to respect the run, look for Johnson to finish with a stat line around five catches for 74 and one touchdown while Boldin racks up six catches for 65 yards and one touchdown.
With the offense looking strong look for the 49ers defense to step up their game as they get their best pure pass-rusher back in the mix with OLB Aldon Smith. A player that should be used on passing-down while being mixed in different packages look for DC Vic Fangio to incorporate the ‘double trouble’ tandem of Smith and rookie fifth-round pick OLB Aaron Lynch as they should create havoc in the backfield. Two pass-rushers with the speed and power to get to the quarterback, they should make life difficult for QB Eli Manning as I predict those two to finish with three sacks combined.
As for the Giants run game, good luck as the 49ers rank 7th in the NFL at stopping the run. Whether maintaining gap integrity or hitting their gaps, the 49ers front seven continues to be one of the best despite not having ILB Patrick Willis (toe injury), ILB NaVorro Bowman (ACL/MCL), NT Glenn Dorsey (torn biceps), NT Ian Williams (fractured fibula), and Smith (suspension). Look for others to continue to tackle the “next-man up” approach as NT Quinton Dial gets more reps while ILB Chris Borland continues to be a tackling machine. The Giants ranks 17th in the NFL in rushing so they will need all of that and more if they hope to win that battle.
With the 49ers poised for a two-game winning streak look for them to blowout the Giants as I predict them to win convincingly 30-17.
NinerFans.com 6-3 (Over/Under)
With the total points set at 47, I would slightly take the under. Although I predict the 49ers to score 30 points this week, it will be the Giants that will need to cover their end and whether they can do that is marginal at best.
NinerFans.com 3-5-1 (line)
With the 49ers being four point favorites, I would eat the points and take San Francisco. A safe bet for a team that plays well on the road last week while regaining their identity as a run first offense.
Fantasy Football (9 out of 27)
As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks.
WR Stevie Johnson
RB Frank Gore
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
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