Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs Giants: Five Keys to Victory and Score Prediction

Matt Andruscavage
Sep 25, 2020 at 1:11 PM


Despite a 1-1 record after a blowout win against the Jets and a close loss to the Cardinals, injuries have taken over the discussion as to how the 49ers will finish in 2020. Here is where San Francisco currently stands on the injury front.

Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both suffered torn ACL injuries and are out for the season. Jimmy Garoppolo has a low grade high-ankle sprain and will not start against the Giants. Raheem Mostert has a mild ACL sprain and will sit this week. Tevin Coleman has a knee injury that will sideline him for about four weeks. Dee Ford is nursing a back issue. Dre Greenlaw has a quad issue that will keep him out of Sunday's game.

In short, it's a M.A.S.H. unit. George Kittle isn't ready to go and now Ahkello Witherspoon is ailing. The depth of the 49ers will definitely be tested on Sunday.


For the Giants, the big injuries aren't listed on the official injury report as wide receiver Sterling Shepard and running back Saquon Barkley are on injured reserve for the season.


It's going to be a challenge for the 49ers to overcome their injuries, but there is plenty of reason to believe San Francisco can get out of New York with a 2-1 record.

Here are five keys to winning this game for the 49ers:

Where and When: Sunday September 27th at 10:00 AM PT at MetLife Stadium

1) Don't be afraid to let the offense carry the day


Usually, one of the first keys to victory is not allowing the opponent to dictate the tempo. While that is a good thing, on Sunday it will be up to the offense to set the tone as it did against the Jets by scoring early. Nick Mullens needs to be able to move the chains and build his confidence. In his words, "This is my fourth year. There's really no excuses why I shouldn't perform." He's right. He's a savant when it comes to Kyle Shanahan's scheme. He is more than capable of playing well and leading the 49ers to a win.

The offensive line is healthy. There are enough weapons for Mullens to utilize, despite the absences of George Kittle and Deebo Samuel, who will both likely return next week. The ground game can still wear down a team like the Giants. The offense needs to be able to control the clock, take care of the football, and score twice in the red zone. If San Francisco can do these things on offense, there should be enough points on the scoreboard to get a victory.

2) Stop the run


It doesn't seem like the Giants have a ground game without Saquon Barkley, but that would not be accurate. Dion Lewis is the starter and Devonta Freeman has been added. It is vital for the defense to be able to bottle up the run and it will be a little more difficult without linebacker Dre Greenlaw. Greenlaw is an excellent tackler and very good in pass coverage, something that Kwon Alexander has struggled with since his pectoral injury last season.

It all starts up front with D.J. Jones, Javon Kinlaw, and Arik Armstead. If the defensive line can penetrate, allowing Fred Warner, Alexander, and last year's surprise starter Azeez Al-Shaair to clean things up in the middle, San Francisco should be able to make the Giants one-dimensional, which is always the goal of a defensive scheme. Jaquiski Tartt will also be able to provide run support, which bodes well for the Niners.

3) Establish a ground game and offensive rhythm


Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. probably did not think it would be up to them to carry the load on the ground, but here we are. McKinnon has provided explosive plays and has scored in both games this season. He is also very good out of the backfield. Wilson has been here before and is a capable running back. If the ground game can keep the Giants from "tee'ing" off on Mullens, expect the offense to produce well.

Kyle Shanahan knows his scheme is most effective when it can play action off aggressive defenders, so do not expect him to abandon the run. I would think this week is a great time to see what rookie Brandon Aiyuk can do on end-arounds and jet sweeps, like a certain number 19 did last season.

If the ground game is effective, there are plenty of receivers who can catch short, high percentage throws to keep the chains moving. Trent Taylor and Kendrick Bourne are the likely targets in those scenarios, but Mohamed Sanu will be in the mix, as will tight end Jordan Reed and also Aiyuk. I would also expect a big play or two from Kyle Juszczyk off a play-action. Lastly, I think we would all like to see a Dante Pettis sighting. At this point, it's all hands on deck. The 49ers should use every personnel grouping possible to gain a matchup edge and come away with a win.

4) No turnovers


This is not a game the 49ers can take for granted, nor do I think they will. This is a conference game and if San Francisco can grab a win, it leaves this nightmare road trip 2-1, which, considering everything, is huge. A major key in achieving a win is taking care of the football. If the 49ers are able to hang on to the football and win the time of possession, there is a very good chance they can score 24-28 points, which should be enough.

5) Coaching


This is probably one of the games this season where Shanahan out-coaches his opponent to achieve a win. There's every reason to trust in the scheme as well as halftime adjustments that will be needed. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will be tested as he will likely have to scheme some pressure out of a unit that is missing Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, and Dre Greenlaw.

Prediction


Sunday's game will be difficult at times, but this is a very winnable game. Nick Mullens will play well, the ground game will be effective, there will be at least one big play on the offense, and the defense, including newly acquired Ziggy Ansah, will get to Daniel Jones, forcing at least one big turnover. Kyle Shanahan will get the credit for out-coaching Joe Judge.

49ers 24, Giants 13
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.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



5 improbable heroes from the 49ers thrilling victory over the Rams

By Marc Adams
Jan 11

The San Francisco 49ers had the usual heroes step on Sunday against the Rams. The game would not have been won, and the playoffs would not have been clinched, without the great contributions of several great players like Deebo Samuel, Jimmy Garoppolo, Arik Armstead, Elijah Mitchell and Brandon Aiyuk. Samuel and Aiyuk were brilliant, of course. Mitchell and Garoppolo both showed a lot of toughness, grit and poise when the 49ers really needed to keep drives going. And Armstead was dominant. It was certainly his best game the last two seasons. But there were a handful of players who helped the 49ers get into the postseason, that we probably wouldn't have expected to come up big, like they did. Sure, you had Emmanuel Moseley with an interception in his first game back from



The 49ers' Path to Victory against the Cowboys

By Brian Renick
Jan 14

The San Francisco 49ers are renewing a long-time rivalry when they travel down to Texas to face the Dallas Cowboys in a Super Wild Card Weekend matchup. The Cowboys are a formidable opponent, earning the 3–seed in the NFC after a regular season that saw them go 12-5 on their way to winning the NFC East division title. The 49ers are going to have to bring their A-game if they hope to leave Big D with a win on Sunday afternoon. Let's take a look at what the 49ers will have to do on each side of the ball if they hope to be victorious. On Offense The 49ers ended the regular season with the 5th ranked offense according to Football Outsiders' DVOA metric—the first time they have finished in the Top 5 during the Kyle Shanahan



Giants request permission to interview 49ers' Adam Peters and Ran Carthon; Bears inquire too

By David Bonilla
Jan 10

On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that no one had reached out to the San Francisco 49ers to request an interview with a member of the team's staff. "No one's told me that [a request has been made] yet today," Shanahan said. That has changed. The New York Giants have reportedly requested permission to speak with 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters and 49ers director of player personnel Ran Carthon, per Peter Schrager of NFL Media and FOX Sports. Two more names for Giants GM search…The Giants have sought permission to interview:—San Francisco



Giants interviewing 49ers' Adam Peters, Ran Carthon for GM job on Monday

By David Bonilla
Jan 17

The New York Giants are interviewing San Francisco 49ers executives Adam Peters and Ran Carthon on Monday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Interviews today:— The #Vikings will interview #Eagles VP of Football Operations Catherine Raiche for their vacant GM job. — The #Giants will interview


Featured

More by Matt Andruscavage

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone