The Giants (1-7) at the San Francisco 49ers (0-9) at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET.
The football may stink, but the weather should be gorgeous. The forecast calls for temperatures around 70 at kickoff with mostly sunny skies and little winds. Enjoy!
WHAT IT MEANS
At this point, the dysfunctional Giants desperately need a win just to change the conversation and give them something to feel good about. It's not going to change their fate or put them into the playoff race, but maybe it'll make them less grumpy to be around. In the bigger picture, though, a loss here probably takes the Giants out of the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft. It's hard to imagine the 49ers or Browns getting two wins at this point.
PLAYER TO WATCH: 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (or perhaps the guy behind him)
You're probably not alone if your reaction to that name was "Who?" He's a third-round pick out of Iowa who is scheduled to make his fourth straight start for the awful Niners. All things considered, he hasn't been terrible. He's completed 50.9 percent of his passes for 941 yards (over four games) with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Last week, in a 20-10 loss against the Cardinals he threw for 294 yards. The offense has only scored 10 points in each of his three starts, though, and it's pretty clear Beathard is not their quarterback of the future. So would coach Kyle Shanahan make the switch to the recently acquired Jimmy Garoppolo? It makes much more sense to wait on the ex-Patriot until after their bye week (which is next week). But Shanahan said Garoppolo is moving along quickly and his debut will come "sooner rather than later." Might he get a shot in the second half of this game, just to get his feet wet before the bye? Don't rule it out.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul vs. 49ers LT Trent Brown
Brown, a seventh-round pick in 2015, is normally a right tackle, but he switched to left when Joe Staley broke his eye socket (Staley isn't expected back until late Nov., though he had resumed practicing this week). The 49ers have given up a ridiculous 32 sacks, so that plus a shuffle of their line should provide a great opportunity for the Giants' pass rusher. There's also a huge opportunity on the other side of the line where Olivier Vernon will face rookie guard Erik Magnuson, who is now at right tackle for San Francisco. But Vernon is questionable with an ankle injury. All indications are he'll play, but assuming he's not yet 100 percent, the pass rush burden would seem to mostly be on JPP. This has been a mostly disappointing season for Pierre-Paul. He has 4 ½ sacks, but three of those came in one game. He's still a good player, and terrific against the run, but he's just not the pass-rushing force that he once was anymore, especially without a strong player at the other end of the defensive line.
This is probably the last opportunity to pick the Giants to win this season -- at least with any reasonable confidence. The 49ers are a disaster. They have no offensive weapons, their best quarterback is a backup who has been there two weeks and is still learning the offense, and their defense is terrible, too. They are giving up 26.6 points per game (second worst in the league) and scoring 15.9 (third worst). Of course the Giants are right there with them, scoring just 16.1 and giving up 25.9. With these defenses, the game should be a shootout, but with these offenses it's hard to imagine either team topping 20 points. So why pick the Giants, especially given how dysfunctional they've become and the fact that it looked to many like they quit last week against the Rams? Two reasons: 1. Eli Manning is the better quarterback in this matchup, by far, and he has at least a couple of decent weapons. If this game is a low-scoring mess, he's more likely than Beathard to make the play. And 2. I don't think everyone quit on the team or Ben McAdoo and if that's true, then last week was a wakeup call to the players that still care and still have some pride. Couple that with a very beatable opponent, and I think the Giants will rise to this occasion. If not … well, look out below! Giants 20, 49ers 6.
MY RECORD: 4-4
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO WIN: 0-3
MY RECORD WHEN PICKING THE GIANTS TO LOSE: 4-1