Good morning, New York Giants fans!
Ruled out of the game is star running back RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), the opening night starting left side of the offensive line of OT Andrew Thomas (hamstring) and OG Ben Bredeson (concussion) as well as LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring). Listed as questionable are LB Micah McFadden (neck) and WR Wan'Dale Robinson (ACL).
The absence of Thomas and Bredeson means the Giants will likely use the same makeshift offensive line with which they finished their historic comeback against the Arizona Cardinals—Joshua Ezeudu at left tackle, Mark Glowinski at left guard, rookie John Michael Schmitz at center, Markus McKethan playing his second career game at right guard, and Evan Neal at right tackle. While that five man group played well against the Cardinals, the 49ers present a significantly tougher test.
For the 49ers, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and cornerback Ambry Thomas are both listed as questionable. They are the only two players who have been on the injury report at all this week.
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Other Giant observations
Thibodeaux insists he was gathering his thoughts and focusing on the moment at hand, not sulking as so many observers perceived his solo act to be, and that he was well aware of what was at stake as the Giants’ defense prepared to go out on the field with 8:51 left.
“For us to come back and win a game, it’s nothing but positive. For a defense, everybody just wants to be able to make that play when the time does come. I think it’s more of a visualization and a meditation thing that, hopefully I don’t ever have to answer to something like that in the future,” said Thibodeaux.
Barber believes Thibodeaux is being asked to play a role in Wink Martindale’s defense that doesn’t lead to heavy sack numbers, and that is being mistaken for a lack of production.
“They’re not asking Kayvon to be this 15 sacks a year getter. When I hear people say he is a bust…it’s frustrating to me,” Tiki said. “I know stats matter, but sometimes they lie to you. It’s creating a narrative that isn’t fair to the kid, because it’s utter BS.”
Danny O signing high praise for the Giants offense
Carrying the Team: Daniel Jones, New York Giants
Not only did Jones finish Week 2 as the highest-graded player on his team at 92.5, but that mark tied with Ryan Tannehill as the best at the position this week. Jones completed 26 of his 37 pass attempts for 321 yards, two touchdowns and an unlucky interception, finishing top-10 in yards per attempt (8.7, fifth), adjusted completion percentage (79.4%, 10th) and big-time throw rate (5.4%, eighth).
Neal has had issues with speed rushers such as Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons. No one needs to be reminded how Parsons has dominated the Giants the past two seasons.
“With guys like that, when you talk about pass rushers like Micah Parsons, Nick Bosa, I mean all those guys have a knack for getting after the quarterback,” Neal stated. “Both are tremendous players, high-motor guys. I feel like Bosa has a different style than Micah Parsons, they don’t move him around as much. He is a true hand in the dirt, outside linebacker, edge rusher. Tremendous player and I am excited for the challenge.”
Giants last season struggled mightily against pass rush stunts at times, and no defense save for maybe Dallas runs stunts better or more often than San Francisco. This season the Niners have featured a lot of layered stunts (multiple loopers) and multi-gap stunts (long loopers).
The Giants run a lot of bootlegs, which is one of the few things San Francisco’s defense struggled a bit against in 2022. They’ve been much better through two games though, including against the boot-heavy Rams.
Daniel Jones is a top five quarterback (on first down)
yards per pass att on 1st down— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 20, 2023
13.2 - Jared Goff
11.6 - Ryan Tannehill
10.7 - Brock Purdy
10.2 - Tua Tagovailoa
9.7 - Daniel Jones
9.2 - Russell Wilson
8.9 - Lamar Jackson
8.7 - Jimmy Garoppolo
8.6 - Trevor Lawrence
8.5 - Dak Prescott
8.1 - Zach Wilson
7.9 - Geno Smith
Zero sacks and zero takeaways on 115 defensive snaps would be an unacceptable lack of productivity for any NFL defense, but it is especially alarming for the Giants. Coordinator Wink Martindale's scheme is designed to create chaos by pressuring quarterbacks into making bad decisions.
Now, on Thursday night, on the road again, the Giants are asked to stand up and show up against the 49ers. A real team. Short week, shorthanded, no one cares.
Q: You said at halftime of the Arizona game, you were down 60-0 on the season. Are you thinking all you need is just one play, one spark and we can get this thing going?
Daboll: “That’s a challenge when things aren’t going great, how to bring people together and create urgency and focus when it’s not going well. The best thing you can do, and each person can do, is just do their job. It’s good to get out there and get the first drive (of the second half) and create some positive energy and emotion and then it is always going to fall back to doing your job and executing. That’s what this game is about. We have to do better early on in games.”
Daboll talks about the challenges of a Thursday night game
Fan theory or the real thing: Is Brian Daboll calling plays for Giants? Here’s what we know | The Athletic
In Week 1, the NBC broadcast showed Daboll in between Giants plays more than a dozen times. In none of them was Daboll seen talking into the headset with a play sheet covering his mouth.
In the Cardinals game, Fox cameras repeatedly showed the sheet in Daboll’s hands, with shots of him looking down at it throughout the game during offensive possessions. And the sheet wasn’t just merely in his hands. On back-to-back instances, the broadcast showed Daboll using the play sheet to cover his mouth, while he presumably talked into his headset.
In the latest installment of the Next Woman Up series, Giants' offensive assistant Angela Baker discusses her long career playing full-contact football, how it helped her transition into coaching and more.
Beasley Reece explained the dysfunction: Quarterback Joe Pisarcik went along with the play because he was a new starter and was not trying to disobey the coaching staff. But running back Larry Csonka told Pisarcik to ignore the call and take a knee.
“We went into the locker room and literally the defensive lineman started beating up members of the offense,” said Reece, who played with the Giants from 1977-1983, told the Crossing Broadcast.
This week’s opponent
In a Wednesday interview with KNBR’s “Murph and Mac” show, General Manager John Lynch noted Aiyuk could be a game-time decision.
“I think, with Brandon, with these Thursday night games, they’re a quick turnaround,” Lynch said. ”So, he clearly got something irritated in his chest/shoulder area. He’s working really hard to try to get ready. And with these Thursday night games, you take it all the way down there. You don’t have to make your inactives until Thursday.
No team has a higher pass-rushing grade than the 88.4 the 49ers have managed. The two biggest inspirations here are Nick Bosa (91.4) and Javon Hargrave (85.7), as the two have picked up 17 total pressures.
Defensive coordinator Steve Wilks on DL Nick Bosa's progress after spending an offseason away from the team:
"As a coach, (it's about) understanding that he wasn't here all offseason and to come in and take 32 snaps in the first game, I believe it was, and play last week. It's going to come. You saw the effort there. You saw the push across the board with those guys. Again, Stafford was getting rid of the ball so fast so I think it's only a time, only a matter of time."
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey took every rep in Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Rams, with Elijah Mitchell saddled to the bench. Over two weeks, McCaffrey has taken 91.7% of the reps.
McCaffrey isn't fretting about his usage early in the season, saying "I think it's all dependent on how the game's going. Ya know, I don't think it's ever a plan for us to get all the carries or not. It's just sometimes that's just how the games go."
Around the league
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