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3 Keys to a Giants victory against the 49ers

Posted Nov 9, 2017

Three keys for the Giants to come away with a "W" on Sunday:



The Giants and 49ers share nine Super Bowl titles between them. This year, they combine for a single win.

There is not much these historic NFC rivals can say or do this week other than just go try to win a ball game. Big Blue enters Week 10 with a 1-7 record while San Francisco, under a rookie head coach, looks for its first victory of the season. They meet on Sunday in the Giants’ first game at Levi's Stadium.

Here are three keys to a victory:

LIMIT BIG PLAYS

The Giants allowed six plays of 35 yards or more last week, none more devastating than a 52-yard touchdown on third-and-33. The 51 points allowed dropped them to 29th in scoring defense a year after they finished second. They have now allowed 38 plays of 20-plus yards on the season, tied with New Orleans for fourth-most in the NFL. To fix this, the Giants are taking a simpler tack, something that the defense thrived on in 2016.

“It’s very important,” safety Landon Collins said. “I think they made a push towards it because last year was very simple.”

The return of Pro Bowl cornerback Janoris Jenkins from suspension will also help while the 49ers have 25 plays (22 passes and three runs) of 20-plus yards, tied for 25th in the league.

TAKE CARE OF THE BALL

The Giants and 49ers are tied in turnover differential at minus-3. San Francisco (14) has more giveaways than Big Blue (10), but that means it also leads in takeaways (11-7). The Giants turned the ball over three times last week (two fumbles and an interception), leading to 17 points for the Rams.

“I mean, we’ve gone through losing streaks before,” quarterback Eli Manning said this week. “We’ve gone – we’ve lost three or four in a row and don’t see the bright side of things and we’ve come out of it and I think you just rely on your preparation, on practicing well, having confidence in your players and trusting them and, you know, you bounce out of it. Whatever reason, completions start to show up, defense gets you a turnover, you return a kick. Something kind of gets you going and you make the plays that you’ve been trained to make and it works out for you.”


CLEAN UP SPECIAL TEAMS

On back-to-back Brad Wing punts against the Rams, the Giants gave up a 30-yard return and had one blocked, leading to a quick seven points for the Rams while the Giants dropped to last in net average on the season. Meanwhile, kicker Aldrick Rosas, who had a field goal blocked in Denver, has now missed an attempt in four of the last five games (he didn’t have an attempt in Week 5).

On the other side, the 49ers have a few bright spots on special teams. They are fist in punt coverage, allowing just 2.6 yards per punt return. However, the Giants could gain some field position on kickoff returns as San Francisco is allowing an average of 25.3 yards, the fifth-most in the league. Both teams need a spark any which way they can find it.