Here is everything you need to know about Sunday’s New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers game, in ABC fashion.
A is for ... ACL: Because, well, Saquon Barkley and Nick Bosa.
B is for ... Barkley and Bosa: Because of the aforementioned ACL thing.
C is for ... Carter Coughlin: We learned this week that the Giants have moved the sixth-round pick from EDGE to inside linebacker. That’s interesting since the Giants also drafted T.J. Brunson and Tae Crowder.
D is for ... ‘Dude:’ Because when you ask Joe Judge about a player the answer almost always boils down to “that guy is a tough dude.”
E is for ... Explosive Plays: Lots of questions for the Giants this week about how they will generate them without Barkley and Sterling Shepard. The Giants’ answer? Basically, it’s that remaining players just need to do their jobs.
F is for ... Freeman: Devonta Freeman is not Saquon Barkley. He is, however, an accomplished veteran running back with a varied skillset who is used to the workload of being a primary running back. Can he be ready for at least a small role against the 49ers after practicing for the first time on Wednesday? We’ll find out.
G is for ... Garoppolo: Jimmy G. won’t play, but I’m sure he will be talked about on the broadcast. A lot.
H is for ... Holton: Wide receiver/special teamer Johnny Holton was the only player the Giants elevated from their practice squad for Sunday’s game. Holton adds depth at wide receiver with Sterling Shepard on IR, and protection on the punt team with gunners Adrian Colbert and Brandon Williams injured and their playing status uncertain.
I is for ... Indecision: That’s the biggest thing that needs to disappear from Daniel Jones’ game.
J is for ... Juszczyk: Few teams use a fullback as much as San Francisco uses Kyle Juszczyk. He is a four-time Pro Bowl player who was involved in 37 percent of the 49ers offensive plays last season, and an incredible 63 percent in 2018. In two games this season, he has played 65 snaps. Giants fullback Elijhaa Penny has played seven.
K is for ... Kittle: All-Pro tight end George Kittle is one of many 49ers who won’t play Sunday. He is dealing with a knee injury. [Final injury report]
L is for ... Lorenzo: Lorenzo Carter has been really good in his first two games of the season. He has a sack, four total pressures and seven of his eight tackles have been for stops (failed offensive plays). Could Carter be ready to take the step forward the Giants were hoping for last season?
M is for ... McKinnon: With Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert both out for San Francisco, the 49ers will turn to Jerick McKinnon. The former Minnesota Vikings back spent the last two seasons on IR after tearing an ACL in 2018 and having a setback at the start of the 2019 season. He has only six carries thus far in 2020, but one of those went for 55 yards.
N is for ... Nick: With Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain) sitting this one out, backup quarterback Nick Mullens will get the call for the 49ers. You might remember Mullens from the 2018 game against the Giants where he went 27 of 29 in a 27-23 Giants victory.
O is for ... Offensive Line: The Giants really need theirs to step up big in this game. The 49ers won’t have Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Solomon Thomas or Dre Greenlaw. Sure, they will have Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw and Fred Warner. Still, this a matchup in the trenches that the Giants need to win.
- What’s wrong with the Giants’ running game?
- Offensive line coach Marc Colombo encouraged by improvement
P is for ... Peppers: Special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said this week he thought Jabrill Peppers was close to breaking a big punt return for a score. This would be a nice week for that to happen. Peppers (12.5 yards per return) is third in the league in yards per return among returners with at least three attempts.
Q is for ... Quit: There’s no quit in the 0-2 Giants. Judge says “there’s no white flags here.” Veteran cornerback Logan Ryan said “0-2 is horrible, but I think we’re a game out of the division here. It’s not like our division is world beaters at the moment. We’re a game out from being a division leader. It’s football. You have to keep playing the games. You have to get over the tough losses.”
R is for ... Richburg: Remember Weston Richburg? He is still a member of the 49ers, currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list. He is still recovering a torn patellar tendon suffered Week 14 of last season.
S is for ... Shepard: Sterling Shepard is on IR with turf toe. He will almost certainly be back, but this will now be the third time in five NFL seasons that Shepard has missed time due to injury. The best ability is availability, and like Evan Engram Shepard just hasn’t been available often enough the past couple of seasons.
T is for ... Turf: How loudly will the 49ers complain about the MetLife Stadium turf if they have players get hurt playing on it for a second week in a row?
U is for ... Underdog: The Giants are 3.5-point underdogs to the 49ers.
V is for ... Victory: Five of the seven BBV contributors making weekly NFL picks think the Giants are going to get one on Sunday.
W is for Warner: Fred Warner was my choice for the 49er (other than Nick Bosa) I would most like to see in a Giants uniform. Some people agree with me. Some don’t. I’m not losing sleep.
X is for ... Ex-49ers: Giants tight ends Kaden Smith and Levine Toilolo are both former members of the 49ers. Yeah, I know I reached for this one.
Y is for ... Yiadom: If the playing time trend continues, former Denver Bronco Isaac Yiadom will replace Corey Ballentine as a starting cornerback for the Giants on Sunday.
Z is for ... Ziggy: The 49ers signed Ezekiel ‘Ziggy’ Ansah this week to try and bolster their pass rush with Bosa, Solomon Thomas and Dee Ford out. How much does the 31-year-old have left? How many snaps could he play vs. the Giants? We’ll see.