WR Odell Beckham Jr. will record his third straight 100-yard game on Sunday.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -I say this not because I doubt Beckham's capability, but because a) with Rashad Jennings back in the lineup, the Giants' running game will be more effective this week, and b) San Francisco has the NFL's second-ranked defense. The 49ers know Beckham is the Giants' most dangerous weapon in the passing game and will focus their energies and personnel on keeping the ball away from him.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fiction -The 49ers have seen a lot of Odell Beckham on tape, and with their secondary getting healthy, I think they will send over a lot of help to try to keep Beckham from blowing up for a third consecutive game. It will be the first time that Beckham sees either straight up double-teams or a constant safety over the top.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -He had the full attention against the best secondary in football last week against Seattle, and he posted seven catches for 108 yards. Beginning last week when he said "why not" embrace the challenge against Richard Sherman, we've learned a lot about what makes the rookie tick. I might be guilty of overvaluing intangibles, but his mentality is as special as his physical ability, which is first class. We'll see if he hits a rookie wall, but I think he's just getting started.
San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick is harder to defend than Seattle's Russell Wilson.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fiction -Not harder, just different. Kaepernick is bigger and stronger and harder to bring down. Wilson is more elusive. If you can catch him, you can tackle him. The problem is catching him. As passers, they have virtually identical statistics. So I think they're equally difficult to defend.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -Mostly because of the talent around him. Colin Kaepernick has a plethora of weapons at the skill positions. In fact, he has four receivers that are better than anything Russell Wilson has: Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, Stevie Johnson and Vernon Davis. Kaepernick also has a better arm to get the ball down the field. Wilson is more consistent and makes better decisions, but Kaepernick is more dangerous.
DAN SALOMONE: Fiction -You can't use the argument for one just being in a good position due to the defense because they both have the best in the league. So we can throw that out of the equation. I'm going with Wilson because of his decision-making and the ability to extend a drive when his team needs it most -- whether it's with his arm or legs. He has the Super Bowl ring and is 2-0 against the Giants. And he's only getting better.
Since Jim Harbaugh took over in 2011, San Francisco has been the best defense in the NFL.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fact -They've been among the NFL's best units for four consecutive seasons. You can't say that about many other teams, if any.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -The 49ers have been a dominant defensive team with upper echelon inside linebackers in Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman, and players like Aldon Smith and Justin Smith getting after the quarterback. Their defense is very banged up now, and they are really struggling on third down and in the red zone. The Giants should be able to move the ball on San Francisco on Sunday.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -Looking at his complete tenure and not just this season, it has to be fact. The Seahawks are a close second, but the 49ers' linebackers and what they achieved going to three straight NFC Championship Games, including a Super Bowl appearance, put them over the top.
The transition from college to NFL head coach is easier today than 10 years ago.
MICHAEL EISEN: Fact -I say this without much conviction. You can point to the success Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh have had as evidence that it's an easier transition than it's been in the past. And Doug Marrone, who moved from Syracuse to Buffalo, has the long-dormant Bills in contention. But that might be due more to the skill of the individual coaches than a sweeping assumption that the transition is easier than it was in the past.
JOHN SCHMEELK: Fact -The pro and college games are much more similar than they have been in years past. There are many elements of the spread offense in the NFL these days, which makes a coach's transition easier than it was in the 90's when things like the single wing option were only found in college football.
DAN SALOMONE: Fact -It used to be the NFL trickles down to college and below. But over the years we've seen more trickling up as the college game has grown so greatly. It also has to do with the free agency system and young players needing to produce right away. That shapes the game to their skill sets.