The San Francisco 49ers are officially 0-9, and while this season is all but over, the show must go on. What should you be looking for in the game against the New York Giants? Let’s take a look!
Adrian Colbert vs. Sterling Shepherd
Shepherd was second in targets last week with 9, trailing Evan Engram narrowly with 10. Either way, Colbert will have his hands full. The 49ers secondary, like the rest of the team, has been plagued by injuries. As a 7th rounder, Colbert is very raw in terms of skill but is very athletic. His phenomenal pass break-up last week showed what he’s capable of. Now he just needs to build confidence as a starter.
Reuben Foster vs. Evan Engram
Thanks to Foster’s rib and ankle injuries, his rookie season has been slow to start and slow to build momentum. Seeing him out there for a full game against the Cardinals though, was about as close to a thing of beauty as 49ers fans could ask for.
Evan Engram has turned into one of Eli Manning’s favorite targets, so it makes sense that Foster will be tested early and often.
DeForest Buckner vs. Eli Manning
As bad as the Niners offensive line is right now, the talent on the Giants OL may actually give them a run for the bottom. The Giants seem to have whiffed on draft pick Ereck Flowers, and the rest of the line is pretty bad as well.
DeForest Buckner has been having a monster year, and while the sack totals aren’t as high as you’d like to see, its clear from the non stop double teams he’s getting that teams see his talent and are game planning for him.
Carlos Hyde vs. Jason Pierre-Paul
Carlos Hyde has not been bad this season. He just hasn’t been given the opportunity that others have. Maybe they’ve been using QB CJ Beathard’s starts as a continuation of evaluation of him, but it doesn’t matter. For some reason Shanahan has not wanted to try and run the ball nearly as much as would make sense.
Ever since the firework accident a few years ago, Jason Pierre-Paul has seemingly had his finger on the pulse of the Giants. The digit of his sack totals has never been high, but they’ve been high enough for people to point and take notice. If Hyde wants to rack up another great game and ring the foghorn he’ll need to use his speed and agility to get passed Paul.
Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Everybody
Everyone knew this was coming, right? No, I don’t think Garoppolo starts against the Giants. I would not be surprised if he comes out to start the 2nd half. Aside from this years preseason, its been nearly a year since Garoppolo has last led an offense.
Yes, he is still learning the playbook. Yes, he is still building rapport with his Wide Receivers and Tight Ends. Yes, Shanahan ultimately decides when he plays, but given the amount of rust Garoppolo will likely have, as well as the General Disarray of the Giants organization right now, using the 2nd half of this game as a “warmup” so to speak for Seattle after the bye isn’t the worst idea in the world, and might be the smartest way of easing Garoppolo in.
What matchups do you look forward to seeing? Let us know on twitter and stay tuned to 49ersHUB for more great content!