What the 49ers Have to do to Beat the Giants

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San Francisco was a -2 or -2.5 favorite heading into this Monday Night Football.

San Francisco heads into Monday Night Football fresh off of their most impressive win of the season, a 34-3 beat down of the Oakland Raiders. The story around the league was the emergence of quarterback Nick Mullens, who came off the 49ers practice squad to throw for three touchdowns last week on Thursday night. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has already made it known that Mullens will get the start on Monday night over former incumbent C.J. Beathard, who is now healed from his hand and wrist injury.

Young Quarterback at Helm

The New York Giants have one thing going for them that the Oakland Raiders did not: they now have film on Mullens available to them. However, the Giants have given up over 33 points three times during their five game losing streak, so what they can do with that limited film is questionable at best. The most important thing for the 49ers on Monday night is staying within themselves.

Running Back’s Banged up

Even without Jerick McKinnon and emerging back Raheem Mostert due to injury, this is a run-first team. Matt Breida will be the feature back with a little Alfred Morris mixed in and the key will be to keep the young Mullens and 49er offense out of 3rd and long situations. San Francisco has had success on the ground this year as they have topped one hundred yards in five consecutive games. They are 4th in the league in rushing yards per game this season. The 49ers should be able to maul the Giants between the trenches and keep Mullens in manageable downs and distances.

Outside of the past two weeks’ wins against the bottom feeding Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco defense has been pretty abysmal this year. Prior to the Arizona game, the 49ers had given up at least 24 points in every game this season. It is difficult to determine whether the defense has turned a corner if this is just a product of the poor competition. Due to the Giants own deficiencies, we may not even know the answer to that after Monday night’s game. A very encouraging sign for the 49ers is the emergence of DeForest Buckner. After two years, Buckner had just 9 sacks through 31 games, but this season he already has 5.5 through 9 games. The former #7 overall pick appears to be in the midst of a breakout campaign.

Must Stop Weapons

The San Francisco 49ers are the better team. Always though, when playing the Giants, you have to account for Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr. Prevent the big play to these guys and the Giants really have nowhere else to turn. The 49ers should be able to run the ball at will against the New York front and limit the need for Mullens to win the game with his arm. San Francisco should win this game and even cover the -3 point spread. There are some things about this 49er team to get excited about. Outside of Saquon Barkley, you cannot say that about the Giants.

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