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The third week of the 2023 NFL Season officially begins with Thursday Night Football in a matchup between last year’s NFC Playoff teams. This game will not be of huge importance for one team’s current playoff chances while the other team might need a win against the favored team to get them out of the bottom of the standings.
The New York Giants (1-1) will go on the road to take on the heavily favored San Francisco 49ers (2-0). The 49ers are already one of the most complete teams in the league as their offense is finding different ways to score, while the defense is suffocating opposing offenses. Things might go from bad to worse for the Giants as injuries might derail a team that is already seeing terrible performances on the field.
San Francisco is coming off a 30-23 road win over their divisional rival the Los Angeles Rams in week two. The Giants had to overcome a 20-0 deficit to defeat the winless Arizona Cardinals on the road last Sunday.
|New Orleans Saints||+10 (-108)||+425||O 44.5|
|Carolina Panthers||-10 (-112)||-575||U 44.5|
The Giants' offense has a tough task ahead of them as they will take on the 49ers' defense that ranks third in the league in points allowed per game (15). Their biggest success has been stopping the run game as they rank third in the league (65 rushing allowed per game). This is a defense that is seeing great production from their linebackers and second-year defensive end Drake Jackson.
Their biggest concern is the pass defense and defensive end Nick Bosa, who was handsomely paid, are not up to elite form. That shouldn't be too much of a concern for the Giants' passing offense is inefficient with the exception of tight end Darren Waller as the top pass-catcher for an underwhelming Daniel Jones at quarterback. Unfortunately for the Giants, they are going to be without their top running back and best offensive player in Saquon Barkley, who is out with a sprained ankle. The offensive line for the Giants has allowed 10 sacks this short season.
While it is bad for the Giants' offense through two games this season, it is even worse on the defensive side of the ball. The Giants possess the worst scoring defense in the league allowing an average of 34 points per game. The pass rush for the Giants is non-existent with no sacks and some of their older defensive backs have been bad at coverages.
The 49ers have been primarily focused on running the ball through the first two games of the season. They have not gotten their passing offense going and developed this early into the season. Tight end George Kittle has caught six receptions for 49 yards in two games. This game against the Giants is a great opportunity for the passing game to be ignited.
The Giants are the worst team in the league when it comes to stopping the run. Through two games, McCaffrey has rushed for 268 yards and two touchdowns on 42 carries. He could easily have his biggest game yet this season.
It is still surprising to see that Nick Bosa doesn’t have a sack through the first two games of the season. He has hit the quarterback four times, however. Look for him to account for his first in the season against an inefficient offensive line.
The Giants have shown their inability to score consistently or start in the game. They’ve been unable to score at any point of the first half through the first two games of the season. The Giants are facing an elite defense of the 49ers. If the Giants score a touchdown or a field goal, it will be because San Francisco let them.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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