The Giants (1-7) at the San Francisco 49ers (2-7) at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Monday, Nov. 12 at 8:15 p.m.
It’ll start out as a nice night by the Bay, with temperatures near 70, but they will drop quickly, as they tend to do out there. Figure them to be in the 50s later in the game. No rain and light winds, too.
WHAT IT MEANS
This game is absolutely huge in the battle for the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Of course, the 49ers already have their quarterback of the future in Jimmy Garoppolo, so it really wouldn’t be a big deal for the Giants to be drafting behind them. Of course, the 49ers could trade down. Or the Giants could end up not drafting a quarterback. So really, in the end, it’ll be better for them to lose.
PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Eli Manning
This is the last start that Manning has been promised by Pat Shurmur, and while it’s unlikely to actually be his last start with the Giants, it’s certainly a clear signal that his time is coming to an end. The Giants are absolutely going to take a look at Kyle Lauletta at some point, and they might even take a look at journeyman Alex Tanney, too. That’s going to happen regardless, but a good performance by Manning could push it off a few more weeks. The Giants aren’t blaming him for their offensive issues. They know the offensive line is the biggest problem. But they also know that Manning is shell-shocked and, given his age, they need to plan for the future. This is a very average 49ers defense that he should be able to exploit if his offensive line can keep him upright. Of course, as always, that’s a very big “if”.
Nick Mullens certainly sent shockwaves around the NFL when he threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns last week. He absolutely sent the Giants scurrying for game film to study him. As good as he looked, though, keep in mind it was against the Raiders and nobody had really seen him play much before. The Giants’ advantage is that now they’ve gotten a look at him. How much will that helps? If they can’t pressure him or stop the Niners’ strong run game, it might not help at all. And even with the expected crash back down to Earth for Mullens, those are still two areas where the Giants’ defense just hasn’t been good all year. The 49ers, as bad as they are, are capable of grounding and pounding them and if they do that, it could be a long day.
Could Manning lead an offensive revival? Sure. Anything is possible. But the world has been waiting for that for two years now and at this point it’s hard to count on. Maybe Pat Shurmur will remain committed to the run, and maybe the expected addition of Jamon Brown at right guard will help the pass production and run blocking, too. But at this point, the Giants probably just are what they are. They may be on slightly more equal footing against a bad 49ers team playing its third-string quarterback, but history suggests they’ll still struggle just enough to lose. … 49ers 17, Giants 13.
MY RECORD: 5-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO WIN: 0-2
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING GIANTS TO LOSE: 5-1