San Francisco 49ers (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS) vs. New York Giants (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS)
NFL Week 5
Date/Time: Sunday Night Football, October 11, 2015 at 8:30PM EST
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SF +7/NYG -7
Over/Under Total: 43
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The San Francisco 49ers make the long trip out to East Rutherford to face the New York Giants on Sunday. The Niners have been on a rough run as of a late and it didnt get much better on Sunday with a 17-3 loss at home to the Packers. They are now 1-3 after a promising week one win over the Vikings. The Giants have shown some spirit in the past two weeks to even their record at 2-2. On Sunday, they went into Buffalo as touchdown underdogs and won by 14. They figure to relish the opportunity to get above .500 this week at home against a beleaguered Frisco bunch.
San Francisco looked to be vastly underestimated after easily beating Minnesota in week one at home. It seemed like their projected downfall had been grossly overstated. Now it looks like it was right on target. Offensively, theyre falling apart, with a constant stream of momentum-halting mistakes. And not to pin it on one person, but Colin Kaepernick looks to have regressed somewhat precipitously. A lot of that has to do with massive losses in personnel across all areas of the team. But when you have a good back in Carlos Hyde, receivers like Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, a good tight end in Vernon Davis, and other talented role players, you have to come up with more than 10 points in two games. Thats simply brutal.
The offensive line isnt doing Kaepernick or the run-game any favors, with the protection being leaky and holes not getting opened. They allowed Kaepernick to be sacked six times on Sunday. Really, its difficult to decide where to attribute the blame, with all areas of the offense suffering. Maybe if you were looking to be really generous, you could try to find some silver lining. At home in week one, they looked really good. And then they took to the road for a two-game stretchagainst Pittsburgh and Arizona. They werent expected to win either game, so lets not get too hung up on the fact that they lost those two games by a combined score of 90-25. Then at home, they lost to a team that might be the best in the conference in Green Bay, holding the potent Packers offense to 17 points, despite getting no support from the offense. That would be looking at the glass as being half-full.
The 49ers seem to be stuck in reverse offensively. And even if the defense continues to show positive signs as they did on Sunday, it is rendered moot in the event of the offense not being able to get going. And with a New York Giants defense getting its act together the past two weeks, this could be a hard week for the 49ers to get rolling on offense. This is in many ways a pivotal game for the 49ers. Another bad loss would put them squarely towards the very bottom of teams in this leaguea bad spot for a team that had spent the better part of the last 4-5 years at the top of the heap. Last year was rough, but thats nothing compared to the prospects of being a team that loses 13 or 14 games, which is the kind of form theyre flashing now.
The Giants are 2-2, no reason to go overboard, but it took some guts to get there for the Giants after a ragged start that could have left them demoralized. To blow double-digit leads in any two-game stretch is hard enough, but to open a season like that is especially taxing. To soldier back from that and score conclusive wins over two tough defenses in the Redskins and Bills really speaks to the coaching and veteran leadership on both sides of the ball.
Sundays effort against Buffalo in a tough road spot was a nice moment for the Giants. Eli Manning continues to commandeer this offense well, making full use of his weaponry, especially through the air. At running back, they continue to struggle to find the go-to guy, though Rashad Jennings had a fantastic 51-yard TD gallop on Sunday that was vital to the teams win and was the likely play of the week.
Manning has been connecting well with Odell Beckham, Jr., who is definitely the real deal. A knee injury has him questionable for this weeks matchup, though he is expected to play. The attention he receives helps spring loose guys like Rueben Randle, who has had some good moments this season. Shane Vereen and TE Larry Donnell have added some production. And every game, there seems to be a different contributor, with TE Daniel Fells, RB Andre Williams, WR Dwayne Harris and others always chipping in with some unforeseen contributions.
For a team that starting making a habit of folding late defensively, the Giants have been able to exorcise that demon in their last two games. You can almost see them buckling down and really going above and beyond to not screw up late and look for that to continue. Theyve been hurt before. Theyre a team that has been through some pain already this season, showing a high level of character in bouncing back from adversity to now be in a position to perhaps thrive in an NFC East division where their 2-2 mark is already good for a first-place tie.
If Kaepernick were able to get out of the funk hes been in, this game isnt a terrible candidate, with the Giants having not been terribly robust against opposing quarterbacks. And to take the Giants as a better-than-touchdown favorite is not the spot where you feel most comfortable. They were more appealing last week as a touchdown dog. When you start laying those big numbers on teams that arent really that great or consistent, it seems like the team that was supposed to be terrible suddenly springs back to life. I see the 49ers defense keeping then in the game, at least enough to cover the spread
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the San Francisco 49ers plus 7 points.
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