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Giants at 49ers: BBV staff picks, predictions

Let’s see what BBV staff writers are predicting

NFL: Washington Redskins at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Can the New York Giants snap their five-game losing streak with a victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night? Someone has to win this meeting between the 1-7 Giants and 2-7 49ers. Here are this week’s predictions from your Big Blue View contributors.

Chris Pflum

I'll just get this out to the way first: I'm picking the Giants to lose. I don't know how you could watch the Giants through the first half of the season and have anything like faith in the team to not trip over their own feet.

That being said, this is likely Eli Manning's last stand, and I would not be surprised to see "Playoff Eli" make an appearance with his career on the line.

Speaking of "lines", the possible addition of Jamon Brown could serve as a legitimate upgrade who helps Eli (and therefore Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard) produce. An upgrade would also be appreciated by Saquon Barkley, who has had the worst blocking in the league.

On the defensive side of the ball, I would expect James Bettcher to regularly send the kitchen sink to confuse and disrupt Nick Mullens.

All of which brings me back to my original point. I can't have any faith in this team after watching them through their first eight games.

Final score: 49ers 24, Giants 21

Season record: 4-4

Dan Pizzuta

Last week against the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers put up 34 points with their third-string quarterback as the starter. The Giants haven’t scored that many points in a game since Week 15 of the 2015 season. Not a great start.

San Francisco had a perfect offensive game plan that got the quarterback comfortable and needed Mullens to throw into exactly zero tight windows. Oakland’s pass defense is only moderately worse than the Giants’. The Giants rank 23rd in big play rate allowed and will be going against an offense that has the 11th-highest big play rate this season. There’s a chance for points on that side of the ball.

So the Giants might have to figure out how to keep up and adjust when they’re on offense. San Francisco ranks 18th in defensive DVOA, 17th against the pass. They’re 11th in DVOA against opposing No. 1 receivers and 18th on the right side, where Richard Sherman typically plays. The Niners are 31st in DVOA against the pass on the left side, so you would hope there’s a decent amount of time Odell Beckham is lined up there. San Francisco is also 14th against opposing running backs in the passing game with two linebackers in Fred Warner and Rueben Foster who could be athletic enough to limit Saquon Barkley.

San Francisco is also the weakest on deep passes — 27th in defensive DVOA, opposed to 19th on short passes — so the Giants will have to push the ball downfield to gain the advantage. There’s not a lot of evidence the Giants will be able to consistently do that.

Final score: 49ers: 28, Giants 17

Season record: 7-1

Patricia Traina

I like much of what I heard from the Giants this week in terms of being refreshed and renewed after the bye week, but someone once said, “Talk is cheap; play the game.”

We’ve been hearing how close the Giants are to a breakthrough since Week 1, but it hasn’t come yet, and I’m not sure right now if it’s going to come.

People look at the bye week with hope thinking that there will be changes made to make things better. The truth is there’s only so much a team can change.

Yes, you might see a new face in the lineup (cough, cough, offensive line, cough) or maybe a new trend or two developing (please let it involve getting the ball to Saquon Barkley in space).

Beyond that, the roster is what it is, and with each injury, each new face that’s put into the lineup, it becomes more of a challenge for the coaches to find ways to do what they originally planned to do despite not having the personnel they thought they would have when they drew up the schemes in the offseason.

So nope, sorry. Still can’t go there until I see action behind the words.

Final score: 49ers 24, Giants 17

Season record: 3-5

Joe DeLeone

The determining factor for Monday night will be how well the Giants stop the run. Racking up over 130 yards a game on the ground, the 49ers have been run dependent.

Nick Mullens was everyone’s feel good story last Thursday night, but will not be a factor this week. Despite a rough past few outings, the Giants defense will hold San Francisco to under 14 points.

Ultimately the Giants just need to get out of their own way to put out a good offensive day. The 49ers have a young and athletic defense, but don’t match up well with the Giants. As always, feeding Saquon Barkley more than 20 touches will be key to a strong outing offensively.

The 49ers have fallen off tremendously since losing Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending injury. In reality this team was too young to be a major threat, and without Garoppolo they are merely a road block for the Giants.

Final score: Giants 17, 49ers 13

Season record: 3-5

Mark Schofield

Last week against an admittedly poor Oakland Raiders defense, Nick Mullens looked like a very capable NFL quarterback. A big reason for his success begins with head coach Kyle Shanahan, who has done a tremendous job of using personnel packages to put his quarterbacks in position to succeed. The 49ers use 21 offensive personnel more than any other team, and San Francisco quarterbacks have a quarterback rating of 112.7 when using that grouping.

Shanahan will find ways to exploit this Giants defense. That’s prediction one.

Prediction two? This is the third-to-last start Eli Manning makes this season.

Final score: 49ers 28, Giants 14

Season record: 4-4

Kevin Haswell

While Odell Beckham said this week that it’s not impossible for the Giants to win eight-straight games to finish 9-7, I think otherwise. I see it more likely that the Giants lose the rest of their games. With that in mind, I think that Giants fall this week to the 49ers in a tightly contested Monday Night Football game.

Final score: 49ers 24, Giants 13

Season record: 5-2

Ed Valentine

There are reasons to be optimistic about the 1-7 Giants on Monday night. They are healthy coming off the bye week. They still seem to be invested in trying to win games and make something of this so-far lost season. The 2-7 49ers aren’t very good. San Francisco quarterback Nick Mullens is coming off a fairy-tale performance. He’s sure to come back to reality. Isn’t he?

I believe there is a real possibility the Giants win on Monday night. Shoot, I believe there is a real possibility they win Monday and then follow that up with a victory at home next Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Odell Beckham Jr.’s win eight in a row and make the playoffs goal? That’s crazy talk, but I do believe the Giants could show enough improvement to win a handful of games the second half of the season.

I just can’t bring myself to actually pick them to win until they prove to me that they can.

Final score: 49ers 28, Giants 27

Season record: 4-4

Only 12 percent of fans voting in our ‘Fanpulse’ survey have confidence in the direction of the Giants.