New York Giants Week 3 Preview: San Francisco 49ers

The New York Giants host the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers, looking for their first win of the season.

Both teams will be without their biggest stars, as the Giants’ Saquon Barkley and the 49ers’ Nick Bosa both torn their ACLs in Week 2.

San Francisco is currently a four-point favorite, according to Caesars Sports Book.

New York will try to avoid going 0-3 for the second time in four seasons.

Next FREEMAN Up

The Giants have lost their Pro Bowl running back for the entire year, and subsequently signed free-agent RB Devonta Freeman to a one year, $3 million dollar contract. The former Atlanta Falcon will presumably be used as the primary back down the line, but this week, will most likely split reps with Dion Lewis.

Freeman, like Saquon Barkley, is a threat as a receiver out of the backfield. He’s also a plus pass blocker over his career; Barkley’s one area needing improvement has always been protection.

The Giants’ lack of a running game plagued them in their first two games, though their cause is helped by the 49ers defense being riddled with injuries.

Bosa is out for the season along with DL Solomon Thomas. Additionally, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and defensive end Dee Ford (neck) were inactive on Sunday.

Facing a depleted defense, the Giants’ O-line must take advantage and successfully establish a run game with Lewis and Freeman.

MetLife Stadium Turf

The NFL and NFLPA investigated the turf at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday after some 49ers, notably Arik Armstead, complained about the surface due to the bevy of injuries that were sustained on Sunday against the Jets.

The league deemed that the field met all standards and protocols on Thursday, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan. The turf will still be in the back of the minds of the 49ers’ players. The Giants need to make sure they don’t allow the 49ers to get comfortable on it.

Early on, New York needs to get to whoever is under center or running the ball for San Francisco. The Giants have six sacks in two games, 1/6 of what they had all of last season.

Without fans, home-field advantage has weakened; however, the Giants have an opportunity in their (literal) home field being a benefit.

Jones against Everybody

Eli Manning, Phil Simms, and even Y.A. Tittle, all won their first game against the 49ers. The expectation for Daniel Jones is to step up and win, as well.

Jones has lost his starting running back, and receiver Sterling Shepard has been placed on the three-week injured reserve. He has been sacked seven times and thrown three interceptions in two games.

He told the New York media, “It’s not one guy, two guys; it’s the group stepping up, and I’m confident we will be able to do that.”

But, the main focus on Sunday will be Jones’ performance and how he adjusts without his major weapons. Although he can’t control his offensive line’s play, nor the health of the Giants’ skill players, Jones’ on-field performance has to give the Giants the best opportunity to win.

(Featured Image Credit: Giants.com)

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