With the San Francisco 49ers coming to MetLife Stadium on Sunday we turn to Niners Nation for this week’s ‘5 questions’ segment. Kyle Posey of NN answers the call.
Ed: Tell me why you think Nick Bosa is a bigger loss to the 49ers than Saquon Barkley is to the Giants?
Kyle: As entertaining as Barkley is and how great he is after contact and breaking tackles, he doesn’t move the needle for the Giants offense as Bosa does for the defense. Even on Saquon’s carries out of shotgun, they can be “boom or bust.” Unlike Barkley, Bosa isn’t reliant on the five guys blocking in front of him. We have yet to see how this 49ers defense plays without Bosa, but he’s their best player and makes life easier for the rest of the defensive line, linebackers, as well as the secondary. Without having a tangible impact on the play, Bosa can still affect the play. The same cannot be said for Barkley.
Ed: I know San Fran’s injury list beyond Bosa is loooooong. Which ones really hurt, and why?
Kyle: Bosa’s loss was brutal. The 49ers will be without Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday. Not every fan is sold on Jimmy G, but there is a clear difference between him and backup Nick Mullens. Dee Ford is out, which means the 49ers will rely on a player they signed off the street in Ziggy Ansah as well as a player promoted from the practice squad. I believe New York’s perimeter weapons Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, present potential matchup problems for San Francisco. Ahkello Witherspoon started in place of Richard Sherman last week, and that’ll be the same this week. Not having Sherman is a big blow. Finally, Raheem Mostert is a walking big-play. He has two rushes over 75 yards in both games. He had a 67-yard run called back because of holding. The team will miss him as well as Tevin Coleman’s pass protection in the backfield.
Ed: If you could add one player from the Giants’ roster to the 49ers’ lineup, who would it be? Why?
Kyle: I’m a big [Darius] Slayton guy, and I also like Leonard Williams, but the answer is James Bradberry. Two starting cornerbacks for the 49ers have struggled to start the season. Bradberry looks better early on as he doesn’t have to face a top-5 receiver weekly anymore. Bradberry is a perfect fit for what the 49ers do on defense, and I’d take his production in a heartbeat.
Ed: Jimmy Garoppolo is one of the QBs who can never seem to satisfy people. Are you a Jimmy G believer or non-believer?
Kyle: Like most, I waffle on Garoppolo. The most frustrating thing about his game is that Jimmy G will have a stretch of impressive play and follow it up with head-scratchers you can’t ignore. Elite quarterbacks elevate the talent around them, and that hasn’t happened with Garoppolo. He’s probably closer to the mid-teens than a top-10 QB. If he performed under pressure as he did against the Jets in Week 2, there would be zero arguments about whether Garoppolo is the guy or not. The problem is, we saw a completely different QB the week before.
Ed: San Francisco wins because? The Giants win because?
Kyle: I think this one will be higher-scoring than many anticipate. I have the 49ers winning 27-24 because Kyle Shanahan will undress Blake Martinez in coverage as well as Kyler Fackrell. George Kittle will likely be a game-time decision, but the 49ers have a decisive advantage over the middle of the field still with Jordan Reed and Jerick McKinnon. Logan Ryan and Jabrill Peppers cannot guard him. If Kittle plays, then the Niners should live in 12 personnel.
The defense will have to contain Danny Dimes and limit Slayton’s big-play ability, as well as corral Evan Engram and Golden Tate, when the ball is in their hands. However, even with the rash of injuries up front, the 49ers’ defensive line should still put enough pressure on Jones.