Week 5 Preview: San Francisco 49ers v. New York Giants



With the San Francisco 49ers (1-3) trying to get back in the win column, it won’t be easy as they face the New York Giants (2-2). A team that boasts the No. 1 ranked rush defense, it will be a game in which winning time of possession will be key.

The 49ers offense has been struggling lately and will need to score at least 20 points, if they hope to have any chance of stealing a victory on the road — and it all starts with the offensive line.

A unit that has allowed 14 sacks through the first four games, they will have to do a better job in pass protection, as QB Colin Kaepernick goes through his progressions. But in order for Kap to experience any success, they will first need to establish the running game.

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The 49ers cultural identity on the offensive side of the ball continues to be smash-mouth football, as they rank No. 5 in the NFL. If the 49ers hope to win this game, they will surely need a heavy dose of second-year RB Carlos Hyde.

The Ohio State product is currently the 10th leading rusher in the NFL with 282 rushing yards. However, Hyde has only mustered 114 rushing yards in his last three games combined, so they must do a better job of feeding Hyde the ball early and often.

If the 49ers can move the chains on the ground, that should open up the passing lanes for Kap to have success. Kaepernick has been a disappointment thus far, but all is not lost, as he tries to regain his confidence as a dual-threat quarterback.

The Forever Faithful saw a glimpse of the Kaepernick to WR Torrey Smith connection last week, as the two hooked-up for a 47-yard play, so expect an encore performance this time around, as the Giants rank dead last in pass defense.

However, it’s another player who I believe will benefit the most from this poor secondary and that’s WR Anquan Boldin.

With TE Vernon Davis ruled out for the matchup, Boldin should shine in his absence, as I believe he will have a stat line similar to five catches for 62 receiving yards and one touchdown, all while being Kaepernick’s security blanket.

As the 49ers offense looks to do their part, look for the defense to do theirs, as second-year OLB Aaron Lynch creates havoc in the backfield.

The player known as Lynch Mobb has been the team’s defensive MVP up to this point, as he’s amassed 11 tackles (four tackles for loss) and 3.0 sacks. Look for Lynch to rack up at least one sack tonight, as he bottles up Giants QB Eli Manning.

But it all starts up front and it will be up to the 49ers entire front seven to impose their will down in the trenches while controlling the line of scrimmage.

Last week, 49ers DC Eric Mangini dialed up a nice game-plan to hold the Packers high-octane offense to 17 points, so look for Mangini to do the same this time around, as he faces the Ole Miss product.

If the 49ers can win their battles at the point of attack while forcing the Giants offense to be one-dimensional, that should bode well for their defense. The Giants have the No. 24 ranked rushing attack, so maintaining gap-integrity should be easier this week, as the defense tries to control the line.

But if the 49ers are unable to stop the run, that means play-action pass for second-year WR Odell Beckham Jr. 

The electrifying receiver continues to make the highlight-reel week in and week out due to his huge catching radius. If the niner cornerbacks are unable to stay stride-for-stride with the LSU product, that could spell disaster as OBJ can turn it on at any point during the game.

Through four games, OBJ has recorded 24 catches for 307 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

With the 49ers playing under the lights for the second time this season, I fully expect them to come out swinging. A team that is in desperate need for a win, they will do all they can to ensure the game is a low-scoring affair. However, I do not see that happening as I believe they fall short in the end, as the Giants win 27-17.


Vegas Odds

NinerFans.com 3-1 (Over/Under)

With the total points set at 43, I would slightly take the over. A game in which I foresee the Giants scoring early, it will be up to the 49ers struggling offense if they can hold up their end of the bargain.

NinerFans.com 2-2 (ATS)

With the 49ers being -7 point underdogs, I would take the Giants.

Fantasy Football (4/12)

As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks.

WR Odell Beckham Jr.

TE Larry Donnell

WR Anquan Boldin


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Ryan is the Founder/CEO of NinerFans.com, 49ers Beat Writer, Live Game Day Correspondent for Bleacher Report and member of Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in San Jose, he also graduated from San Diego State University. His work has been featured on NFL Network, 95.7 The Game, National Football Post, Sports Illustrated, FanSided Network, ESPN Radio, CBS Sports 810, and NBC Bay Area News. For more information, please contact him via email at ryan@NinerFans.com or call him at (408) 622-0996.