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New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers: Key players, top storylines, odds and prediction

The San Francisco 49ers will put a 12-game regular season win streak on the line at home agains the New York Giants on Thursday Nigh Football to open Week 3 of the NFL season.

San Francisco has come out on top in both of its games this season, scoring 30 points each time. As for the Giants, they were blown out by the score of 40-0 by the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1. New York then found itself down 20-0 in the first half this past Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals before pulling off a monumental comeback.

The Giants will be without Pro Bowlers, running back Saquon Barkley and left tackle Andrew Thomas, for this one. It puts head coach Brian Daboll and Co. behind the proverbial eight-ball. But on a short week, anything is possible.

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Below, we preview this primetime game by looking at key players to watch, top storylines and a final prediction.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers: Kickoff time, TV information and odds

new york giants at san francisco 49ers
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
  • Date: September, 21
  • Time: 8:15 PM ET
  • Television: Amazon Prime
  • Point spread: 49ers (-10.0)

Top New York Giants players to watch

new york giants at san francisco 49ers
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Here, we look at two Giants players to watch as the team looks to pull off a big upset over San Francisco to open Week 3.

Daniel Jones, quarterback

Jones was great in the second half last week as the Giants overcame a 20-0 halftime deficit to win on the road by the score of 31-28. That’s the good now. Now, on to the bad news. San Francisco is not Arizona. Jones and his Giants were also outscored 6-0 in the first six quarters of the season. Which iteration of this high-priced quarterback will show up on the road against one of the best defenses the NFL has to offer?

Statistically, Jones has been better on the road (35 TD, 13 INT) compared to at home (27 TD, 24 INT) throughout his career. This should give the Giants some confidence that he’ll be able to up his game against San Francisco. On the other hand, the 49ers head into their home opener 9-0 in the team’s past nine home games while outscoring opponents by a margin of 258-107.

Evan Neal, right tackle

Even with star left tackle Andrew Thomas out of action, Neal will remain on the right side. This means that Joshua Ezeudu will be tasked with going up against Nick Bosa. The Giants will be sending a ton of extra protection to his side when that’s the case.

If so, Neal will have to contend one-on-one with second-year player Drake Jackson. All he’s done through two weeks is record three sacks and seven quarterback pressures. It’s not an ideal scenario for a quarterback in Jones who has already been sacked 10 times in two games. Neal has been a downright disaster in pass protection this season. No, we’re not kidding.

A top-10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, it’s finally time for Neal to earn his keep. It won’t be easy, but he needs to do what he can to keep Jones upright. It’s that simple.

Top San Francisco 49ers players to watch

new york giants at san francisco 49ers: deebo samuel
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

As the 49ers look to win their 13th consecutive regular season game, here is a look at two players to keep an eye on Thursday night.

Deebo Samuel, wide receiver

With Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder) questionable to go in this one, the 49ers need Samuel to step into his former WR1 role for Brock Purdy against New York. The former All-Pro was not that last season for San Francisco, recording just 56 receptions for 632 yards while boasting a 9.6% drop rate.

Samuel has been much better this season with 164 total yards and a touchdown in two games. He can’t just be a decoy out of the backfield or a “junk” player in this one. Samuel must step up and do his thing even if Aiyuk does indeed play.

Nick Bosa, EDGE

A holdout throughout all of training camp and the preseason, Bosa has not recorded a single sack in two games. He didn’t see the field a whole lot in the opener against Pittsburgh after signing his record contract just days earlier. This past week against the Rams saw Bosa record four quarterback hits and six pressures of Matthew Stafford. He appears to have his sea legs.

Regardless of what San Francisco does on offense, a dominating performance from Bosa and its defensive line would likely put this one away early Thursday night. With Bosa 100% against a Giants offensive line that’s missing 40% of its starters, it’s time to eat.

Top New York Giants storyline

new york giants at san francisco 49ers
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

We can put the onus on Jones. Criticizing the Giants’ offensive line is fine, too. But without any balance Thursday night against San Francisco, the road team simply won’t have a chance. Unfortunately, the absence of Barkley is going to hurt the G-Men.

In his stead, Matt Breida will return to San Francisco where he put up some of his best NFL seasons. From 2017-19 with the 49ers, Breida tallied 2,463 total yards and 10 touchdowns at a clip of 5.0 yards per touch. Since then, he’s gained less than 900 total yards in 40 games. New York needs Breida to return to earlier-career form.

Top San Francisco 49ers storyline

new york giants at san francisco 49ers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers put up 30 points and 365 total yards of offense last week. Despite this, Brock Purdy put up his worst start as a professional. He missed on three likely long touchdown passes throughout the afternoon in Southern California.

The 49ers are talented enough to overcome a missed opportunity here and there. No team in the NFL can continue to overcome multiple missed opportunities like we showed above. Regardless of who the 49ers are taking on, Purdy must start seizing the long ball and doing his thing in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

  • Final prediction: San Francisco 49ers 31, New York Giants 16