The Giants and 49ers are set to do battle tonight as Week 3 kicks off on Thursday Night Football. Despite the massive comeback last week in Arizona, the Giants are 10-points underdogs for tonight’s game, while the over/under is set at 43.5 points.
The visiting Giants are certainly up against it in this one, as they’ll head into enemy territory against one of the best teams in the league without their star running back. New York is coming off that miraculous comeback against the Cardinals, but this 49ers team definitely isn’t the same. For the Giants to be able to move the ball against San Francisco, Daniel Jones will have to be on his game as a passer and a rusher. Matt Breida simply won’t be able to fill the hole that Saquon Barkley leaves, which means Jones will have the ball in his hands a lot. He has some decent options at receiver, but he’ll need to hang in there and deliver those throws when his pocket starts to collapse.
On defence, the Giants don’t match up that well, either. They’ve given up 68 points in two games so far this year, and tonight’s challenge may be their toughest one yet. Their pass rush will need to find a way to do a much better job than they did in the first two contests, because if they let Brock Purdy sit back, one of the very talented options on San Francisco will find a way to get open. Through two games, the G-Men are yet to register a sack. If the pressure can’t improve, it’s hard to imagine this defence making a lot of stops.
Unlike the Giants, San Francisco has come out hot in 2023 and will look to keep rolling tonight. The team has the second-best point differential in the league at +30, and even though they only beat the Rams by seven last week, the game was hardly ever in jeopardy. Look for the offence to get Christian McCaffrey involved early and often again here against the Giants. CMC has ran for 268 yards in two games this season while scoring two touchdowns. If New York’s defence can’t slow him down early, McCaffrey has the chance to do something special.
Defensively, the 49ers could also be in for a big night. Daniel Jones has been under duress a lot already this year and I don’t expect to see anything change against the guys up front in red and gold. They won’t have to worry about Saquon Barkley, either, which means as long as Matt Breida doesn’t shock the world, the main focus will be on getting to Jones and not letting him scramble out of pressure. Darren Waller will be a main focus in the passing game, but I expect San Francisco’s talented linebackers to make life tough for him tonight too. Overall, the ‘9ers defence might just be too good for this offence across the board.
Giants and 49ers: The Pick
Obviously, I like the 49ers to win big tonight at home and cover the spread. New York has looked terrible for six and a half quarters this year, and without Saquon Barkley, they’re going to have to get really creative on offence. On the other side of the ball, San Francisco should be able to spread it around and dissect a fairly weak unit. The Giants and 49ers just aren’t on the same level right now, and the home team will roll.
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Check out our Week 3 Power Rankings here.