The San Francisco 49ers are preparing for the match-up that might truly be their only chance at a win and avoiding an 0-16 record in 2017.
In a game that many are dubbing the 2017 toilet bowl, the Niners will face a team with lower self-esteem and more dysfunction in the New York Giants. The Giants head coach Ben McAdoo has been described as having lost the team and is on the hottest seat in terms of NFL coaches most likely to lose their job.
The 49ers will take on the Giants this Sunday, November 12th at 1:25pm at Levi’s Stadium.
Essentials to win the game
In all the games that the 49ers have kept close or had a chance to win in 2017, the Niners relied heavily upon Carlos Hyde and the running game, and that is the formula they need to use to win this game.
C.J. Beathard has shown he can take a beating but it’s clear that he is not the answer at quarterback, especially when one considers the dilapidated condition of the 49ers offensive line and attrition to the receiving corps.
When given the ball, Carlos Hyde has been productive and the 49ers need to feature the running game against the Giants to win.
Carlos Hyde is on pace for 1,354 yards from scrimmage (878 rushing, 476 receiving). His previous high was 1,151 last year.
— Chris Biderman (@ChrisBiderman) November 6, 2017
Carlos Hyde had 12 carries/41yds, 9 rec/84yds
Desperately needs the ball more
— Nicholas McGee (@nicholasmcgee24) November 6, 2017
— Al Sacco (@AlSacco49) November 6, 2017
Possible downfalls to avoid
The 49ers rank 22nd in turnover differential with -3, and key turnovers have been the difference in several close games this season, often giving the ball away in a manner that has left opponents with great field position and easy scores. The Niners must avoid turnovers to win this game.
Reuben Foster had a solid game last week against the Cardinals but no doubt made fans and teammates anxious when he went down holding his leg. He has been a bright spot for the team this season but has also been unable to shake the label of being injury-prone. Foster will need to play the whole game to keep QB Eli Manning honest on his short passes and to keep RB Orleans Darkwa from getting into the secondary.
Reuben Foster knifes into the backfield and prevents the Cardinals from converting on 3rd and 1. pic.twitter.com/CyiVIb1pQQ
— Oscar Aparicio (@BetterRivals) November 5, 2017
The 49ers opened as 1.5 point favorites but sharp money has moved the line to Giants being favored by 2.5 points. Even though Garoppolo is unlikely to play, this game is the 49ers gut-check moment. Despite all the roster turnover and brick-by-brick rebuild, at some point the pride of professional athletes kicks in to avoid disgrace. Losing at home to a 1-7 team that has lost most of its receivers, with a defense that has mailed it in and a coach that the team does not respect would be the nadir of the season.
At some point, enough is enough. Any residual pride that the 49ers may have left is going to be harnessed and focused this Sunday as they lean on the running game and solid defense led by a healthy Reuben Foster to beat the demoralized Giants for their first win of 2017.