49ers vs. Giants Week 10 Preview

What was once a match up of NFL titans has been brought to this. On Sunday afternoon, the winless 49ers will look to take advantage of the New York Giants to pick up their first win of the season. As bad as this season has been for San Francisco, it hasn’t been much better for the Giants who are coming off a 51-17 thrashing at home to the Los Angeles Rams last week.

The last meeting between the two teams took place on week five of the 2015 season. On that night at Met Life Stadium, Eli Manning led the Giants to a touchdown on the final drive to steal a 30-27 win away from the 49ers. There is very little that is the same about either team heading into Sunday’s contest.

Normally I like to put together a list of five burning questions to look forward to each week, however this week I’m going to limit that to just two. Let’s get started.

1) Can Kyle Shanahan catch his balance?

Over the last three weeks with a rookie quarterback who was making his first three NFL starts and an offensive line that has been banged up with injuries and allowing hits to the quarterback at an alarming rate Shanahan has done little to help his guys out. Of the 200 plays called by Shanahan during this time 137, or 68.5%, have been passes. This reached comical levels last week against Arizona when he called 56 pass plays to just 17 runs.

In the first half of last week’s game, prior to the final two minute drive Shanahan had called passes on 17 of 25 plays despite the fact that the run game had been finding success and averaging slightly over four yards per attempt.

The 49ers only touchdown drive of the game came on their first possession of the second half. On that possession Shanahan stuck with the run, calling five running plays on the drive and closing the gap to only 4 points. Unfortunately, they would run the ball only 2 more times for the remainder of the game.

While this may be a lost season, this should be a concern and something that fans keep an eye on. Shanahan has a track record of getting a little too cute from time to time. Despite having the second lowest passer rating in the NFL the 49ers have attempted the most passes.

Perhaps Shanahan didn’t learn from his Super Bowl mistake after all.

2) Who are these guys?

The 49ers come into this game with 15 players on Injured Reserve, and a large number of additional players out for this week due to injury. There will be no Trent Taylor, George Kittle, or Solomon Thomas just to name a few.

Two bad teams, both with many of their top players not available and this has all the makings of a snoozefest. Perhaps a Jimmy Garoppolo sighting in the second half will throw some juice into the proceedings.

Final Score: 49ers 16 Giants 17

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