GIANTS (1-1) AT SAN FRANCISCO (2-0)
TV: Amazon Prime, Fox, 8:15 p.m.
Odds: San Francisco by 10.5; O/U: 44
Second road game in five days. San Francisco’s home opener. No Saquon Barkley. Daniel Jones’ prime-time struggles (1-10 in night games). Nick Bosa against an overmatched offensive line. The odds are stacked against the Giants as they take on a 49ers team that has scored 30 points in each of the first two weeks and has playmakers galore. The Giants have no shot, right? Wrong.
The last time the Giants were counted out was just a few days ago, when they trailed 20-0 and 28-7. Then Jones hit Jalin Hyatt with a 58-yard bomb on the first play of the third quarter, Big Blue scored its first points of the season and they staged an incredible 31-28 win to avoid an 0-2 start to the season. Yes, it was lowly Arizona, and the fact the Giants were in that predicament in the first place is troubling. And yes, the defense has yet to record a sack or force a turnover, an alarming fact against a well-oiled 49ers offense. Barkley’s ankle injury put a damper on the comeback win, but that kind of backs-against-the-wall rally is still something the Giants should be able to build off. The talent is there, they just need to execute.
Matt Breida isn’t Barkley, but maybe the former 49er will have some extra juice facing his old team. The Giants still have Darren Waller, Hyatt’s explosiveness, Jones’ dual-threat ability as a runner and a fine coach in Brian Daboll.
The Giants can’t afford another sleepwalking first half and the defense needs to make some plays. The 49ers are too good to call an outright upset here, but I believe Daboll will have a smart game plan, one that helps the Giants start fast for a change. This will be closer than most think.
The pick: Giants
Tom Rock: 49ers
Al Iannazzone: 49ers
Kimberly Jones: 49ers
The pick records (ATS) through Week 2