For three straight weeks the New York Giants have done some good things offensively, just not nearly enough. Especially not enough to overcome an injury-ravaged sieve-like defense that has come completely unraveled during the current four-game losing streak.
Since a Week 5 27-0 shutout loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants have shown signs of life offensively. Quarterback Eli Manning has continued to play well. Rookie Odell Beckham has had two straight 100-yard receiving games. The Giants are creating more scoring opportunities. Still, they have scored only 62 points (20.7 per game) in those three games. That's not good enough, especially with a defense currently ranked last in the NFL in yardage allowed and 26th in points per game at 27.4.
"I think we feel from the offensive standpoint we can do some good things. We can make plays. We have some explosive play-makers and we can play at a high level. We are close. We are a few plays away," Manning said. "We still hurt ourselves sometimes. We can be dynamic. We can make some big plays and can take short passes and run our offense efficiently. We just have to do it for four quarters. We can't let one bad series or one bad play dictate the rest of the game."
It won't be easy for the Giants to find those few plays or put together four quality quarters of football against San Francisco, which features the league's second-ranked defense. The 49ers are ranked seventh in the league against the run and fifth against the pass. San Francisco placed middle linebacker Patrick Wiillis on IR this week with a toe injury that will require surgery, but the 49ers get pass rusher extraordinaire Aldon Smith back from suspension.
The Giants hope to get leading rusher Rashad Jennings (396 yards, 4.4 yards per carry) back from an MCL sprain for the first time since Week 5. Rookie Andre Williams has struggled in Jennings' absence, carrying 50 times for just 155 yards (3.1 yards per carry).
Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will be trying to become the first rookie wide receiver in franchise history to have three straight 100-yard receiving games. Beckham had eight catches for 156 yards vs. the Dallas Cowboys and seven catches for 108 yards vs. the Seattle Seahawks.
There is also a possibility the Giants will have offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz, out all season with a dislocated toe, for the first time all season. Schwartz has been on short-term IR.
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