(3-6) vs San Francisco (5-4)
had won 11 straight games in the Superdome, but had to wait last week until the
fourth quarter to take the lead away from the 49ers for the first time in the
game. Down by three points, the 49ers needed to make a fourth-and-10 play on their
last drive of the quarter for a chance to tie things up and get to overtime. They
did and went on to win the game 27-24.
Last Sunday in Seattle the Giants held
a 17-14 halftime lead over the defending Super Bowl Champions. The score was tied
going into the fourth quarter, but the Seahawks kept coming at them with their
running game and added 21 more points while holding the Giants to none, dealing
them a 38-17 loss.
- Seahawks Wrap-Up
The NFC West is a tough
division to win. Even with a 12-4 record, and going 5-1 in their own division
the 49ers had to settle getting into the playoffs as a wild card team last year.
They went on the road to beat both Green Bay and Carolina, but lost to the Seahawks
in Seattle just as they did in the regular season. One thought going into this
year was to not be the traveling team in the playoffs, especially against the
Seahawks in Seattle where the 49ers have lost their last three matchups. Factor
that along with this. Since Jim Harbaugh has been head coach, the 49ers have lost
just nine on the road (20-9).
Now this season, with more than half their games
played, Seattle is just one obstacle to be considered as the 49ers have already
dropped a game to the division leading Cardinals. Winning last week in New Orleans
was real big because right now San Francisco is behind both Seattle (6-3) and
Arizona (8-1) in the standings. Winning on the road is a strength they need to
capitalize on this week against the Giants if they want to stay relevant in their
division race for a playoff spot on the road or not.
Francisco 49ers Offense
Kaepernick quarterbacked a passing game that was ranked 30th in the NFL last year
and has since improved to 22nd. Their real strength is the ground game which has
dipped a bit from last year's third place spot to ninth, but certainly more than
good enough. That's especially so considering the level of competition they are
about to face, an opponent that took a severe hit in that area just last week.
Kaepernick is the second leading rusher on
the team with 58 carries for 298 yards and has 14 first downs this season. Frank
Gore is currently 10th in the NFL with 553 rushing yards.
Anquan Boldin, Michael
Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis are all top receivers, but last week they
had their problems. Kaepernick threw 32 passes with 27 going their way and they
pulled in just 10. Timing is everything though as one of those came with less
than a minute left, a 51 yarder Crabtree caught that set up their game-tying field
goal. Overall Crabtree, in the final year of his contract, caught three of the
eight balls sent his way and that long catch helped his stats as his
current 10.6-yards per catch average is the lowest of his career.
Francisco 49ers Defense
unit is ranked second in the league, allowing 306.4 yards a game. They had some
serious injuries last game with nose tackle Ian Williams suffering a fractured
left leg and linebacker Patrick Willis was placed on injured reserve with a toe
injury, but as we said earlier, timing is everything. Glenn Dorsey just came off
injured reserve and will play the nose tackle position and linebacker Aldon Smith,
who was suspended the first nine games of the season, will play for the first
time in this game.
Smith was the seventh overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft
and in his first three seasons he had 42 sacks in 43 games. Currently, with nine
games played, San Francisco has netted just 15 sacks so far and Smith is a real
pass-rushing threat. The only break the Giants get is that his activity should
be limited since he has not played, but they will certainly have to be mindful
when he's on the field. Overall a tough defense, they struggle in the red zone
where opposing teams have scored touchdowns
16 of 23 times.
Eli Manning got some better support from
his receivers last week, but the ground game went nowhere and two of his rushers
were hurt in the process. Michael Cox suffered a broken leg and is gone for the
season. Peyton Hillis had a concussion and will not play. This week Rashad Jennings
looks to be back, likely with limited carries, and assisted by the ever persistent
rookie Andre Williams, who has gained some valuable experience if not yards trying
to carry the load. Making the run work against the 49ers will be tough, but the
Giants will have to keep them honest offering some kind of fair balance.
Beckham Jr. is looking good every game and will continue to draw the most attention,
but Preston Parker was no slouch last week with 7 catches for 79 yards. The offensive
line has done better with their pass-blocking, but they need to get the ground
game on track too, otherwise if it's third and long, or any other obvious passing
situation, they will see Aldon Smith trot on the field to tune up the 49er pass
Update - Peyton Hillis was placed
on IR - concussion.
Things are not looking too good
right now, especially after last week where the Seahawks ran all over this defense
and they gave up an overall 510 yards. Facing that rushing attack was a tune up
of sorts as the Giants will be in for the same kind of assault this week against
the 49ers. How could they have played so poorly in that game? Defensive coordinator
Perry Fewell was seen smiling on the sideline and this has irked some fans, but
it's more of a reaction to watching something go wrong that can't possibly go
so wrong again and again and your mind just can't understand it.
area might have been attributed to the concussion linebacker Jacquian Williams
suffered during the game and was unaware of until he reported having headaches
the next day. His game play was his worst in any game this season. However that's
no excuse for the rest of the guys. In any event, to prepare for this week the
Giants must have covered option runs and the importance of maintaining assignments.
The Giants are currently the lowest ranked defense in the NFL. Fewell promises
better and said he doesn't expect to be answering critical questions about defense
year the Giants were at this same point with a 3-6 record heading into the final
seven games. If they can get something going in this game at home against San
Francisco and next week also at home against the Cowboys, they have a real shot,
as the schedule gets a lot easier. It's stocked with games against Jacksonville,
Tennessee, Washington, and St. Louis, all teams with way below .500 records, before
facing the Eagles in the final game of the season at MetLife Stadium. What more
could you want then for that game to mean something, if the Giants could only
get it going in these next two games?
TeamGiants on Twitter.
At 1pm on Sunday when the Giants are
playing, the Redskins (3-6) will host the Buccaneers (1-8). Later at 4:25pm, the
Eagles (7-2) play in Green Bay against the Packers (6-3) and the Cowboys are on
a bye week. The Redskins are the only NFC East team favored to win their game.
Giants Store, and see some of the really unique items we put together.
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will play the 49ers for the first time in MetLife Stadium.
have just 16 sacks on the season - ranked 23rd in the NFL.
Francisco and the Giants have each scored 195 points.
Francisco has just 15 sacks on the season - ranked 24th in the NFL.
Nov 23 - Cowboys at Giants.
Nov 30 - Giants at Jacksonville.
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