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49ers vs. Giants: Picks and Predictions

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 21, 2023 at 1:00 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers will finally return to Levi's Stadium in Week 3 for their home opener, where they'll host the New York Giants in a Thursday Night Football showdown in hopes of improving to 3-0.

Heading into the game, the 49ers are seen as ten-point favorites, with the over/under placed at 44.5 points per game, as the Giants will be without star running back Saquon Barkley, left tackle Andrew Thomas, outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari, and left guard Ben Bredeson on the road.

In a weekly installment, I'll be dishing out some fun predictions on the game, rather than just providing an outright winner, although that will still continue in certain close games.

This week, I've got six intriguing predictions, with some for the 49ers and others for the Giants.

1) 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey over 77.5 rushing yards and longest run over 17.5 yards

Through the first two games of the season, Christian McCaffrey has averaged 134 rushing yards per game on 21 attempts, scoring a touchdown in both games, while seeing eight combined targets in his first two outings.

The significant amount of volume has led Kyle Shanahan to evaluate the position and acknowledge the need to potentially lessen McCaffrey's load to keep him fresh for the full season, setting up a path for Elijah Mitchell to earn some reps after the starting back got 100% of the offensive snaps last weekend.

Still, I'm confident in McCaffrey, and believe he'll hit the over on 77.5 rushing yards, even with some reduced volume, as the running back has been highly efficient to date, helped by at least one significant gain in each of the first two weeks. With the way the 49ers offense has executed thus far, I believe the running back is primed for yet another big gain, and will ultimately reach at least 78 yards on the ground in this game.

2) Giants QB Daniel Jones over 37.5 rushing yards

This week, we've heard about the dual-threat ability that quarterback Daniel Jones presents from the 49ers' coaching staff, which will have to be a factor in Week 3 with running back Saquon Barkley out.

Jones has already been an important part of the run game for the Giants, and that responsibility should increase in Week 3, which is why I believe he'll hit the over on 37.5 rushing yards.

The quarterback rushed for 43 yards on 13 attempts in the opener, while seeing more success against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, going for 59 yards on nine attempts with a rushing score. With more of an onus placed on him to perform in Week 3, I expect some more designed-run plays, especially with the 49ers' struggles to contain dual-threat quarterbacks, but also Jones to take off on his own for some extra yards.

3) 49ers QB Brock Purdy under 28.5 passing attempts

Brock Purdy has seen some successful games early in the season, completing 66.7% of his passes, while throwing for 7.9 yards per attempt without having an interception.

However, there has been a similar trend for Purdy through the first two games: throwing for less than 30 times, as the quarterback had 29 passes in Week 1 and just 25 in Week 2, while the offense still scored 30 points in both weeks.

Expecting another efficient game from Purdy, I don't envision the 49ers will need to throw enough for him to accumulate over 28.5 passing attempts, hence why I'm taking the under.

4) Giants TE Darren Waller over 45.5 receiving yards

Coming in via trade from the Las Vegas Raiders over the offseason, tight end Darren Waller was expected to be the No. 1 option in New York this season.

After a slow Week 1 that involved just three catches for 36 yards, Waller exploded in Week 2 with six catches on eight targets, leading the Giants in both categories, for 76 yards, as quarterback Daniel Jones threw for over 300 yards in the win.

Now, while I don't expect a win for New York in Week 2, I do expect an increased volume of passing without Saquon Barkley, as the Giants likely play from behind for a majority of the game.

That could lead to increased opportunity for Waller, which is why I'm hitting the over on 45.5 receiving yards.

5) 49ers K Jake Moody over 1.5 field goals

I expect the 49ers to score a lot of points on Thursday. That includes field goals, with kicker Jake Moody having made all six of his attempts through two weeks.

With the prop set at 1.5 field goals, I'm hitting the over, putting trust in the 49ers offense and in Moody's ability to hit from all distances after the kicker hit three field goals in each of the first two games.

Stay tuned for next week's set of picks and predictions!
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

1 Comment

  • Uncle Herbie
    The only one you got right was #5. Also got the first half of #1 but wrong on the longest run. 1 1/2:5
    Sep 26, 2023 at 8:54 PM

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