After the second quarter of their game against the Cardinals last Sunday, the Giants’ season was on the ropes. They were down 20-0 at halftime and hadn’t scored a single point all season. They were struggling mightily on offense and their defense was continuing to not bring any type of pressure onto the opposing quarterback. Something needed to change and a spark needed to appear. Luckily for New York, that happened on the first play as Daniel Jones connected with rookie wide receiver Jalin Hyatt for a big play and the offense kept rolling from there. The team kept it going from there, scoring 31 points in the second half to complete a 21-point comeback.
How Daniel Jones and The Giants Can Beat The 49ers
It was a huge win for the Giants as they avoided going 0-2 and kept hope alive. However, the competition gets really tough in Week 3 as they have to travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Thursday Night Football. The 49ers boast one of the most complete teams in the NFL and went all the way to the NFC Championship game a year ago. The Giants will also be without running back Saquon Barkley as he recovers from an ankle sprain he got against the Cardinals. This means the Giants will be leaning a lot on Daniel Jones to carry the offense. While it’s a long shot, there is a way for the Giants to come out of this game with a win. Here is the game plan to do that.
Incorporate A Heavy Dose Of Play-Action
The Giants weren’t finding any rhythm on offense during the first half of Sunday’s win against the Cardinals. They couldn’t get a confident run game going and their passing game was dismal. New York only ran three plays in the half off of play-action and didn’t connect on any of them. That all changed in the second half as the team started to run the ball more in all facets and with that came the play-action.
Jones went 13-15 on play-action in the second half for 229 yards, according to ESPN Stats Info. That’s the most he’s thrown off of play-action in an entire game, let alone a half. They were able to spread the ball around that way to a lot of their top playmakers. Darren Waller was finally seeing some balls thrown his way, Isaiah Hodgins had a resurgence late and Darius Slayton caught a couple of clutch throws. The offensive line also held up their own end of the bargain, doing a much better job of protecting Jones compared to last week against the Cowboys.
The Giants will be going up against a more fierce defense than they faced a week prior. Led by Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, the 49ers’ defense never lets up when it comes to pressuring the opposing quarterback. If the Giants can limit the 49ers’ dominant pass rush by integrating a play-action offense, then that would do wonders for the Giants’ chances on Thursday.
Try and Limit The Turnovers
A season ago, Daniel Jones seemed to have corrected a major flaw in his game. For the first three years of his career, Jones turned the ball over an average of 16 times per season. In 2022, Jones only turned the ball over 8 times. Cutting that number in half helped the Giants’ offense thrive and led to a lot more points. So far this season, Jones has already turned it over three times. If you’re a Giants fan, that worries you a bit.
The 49ers defense, through two games, have intercepted the ball four times. That’s really good for a defense that got 20 interceptions in 2022. Jones has to be very careful not to throw away the game and cost them a chance at a win. Playing hard but conservative football might be the Giants’ only way to stay in this game.
Get Pressure On Brock Purdy
Flashback to the NFC Championship game, the 49ers hadn’t lost a game with Brock Purdy as their quarterback. The offense looked amazing until they faced the Eagles and when they got pressure on the quarterback, everything changed. They struggled to move the ball and then Purdy eventually got his shoulder injured. The offense isn’t the same when you get pressure and that’s easier said than done when you talk about the Giants.
The pass rush has been non-existent through the first two weeks for New York. There have been some disappointments regarding Leonard Williams, Azeez Ojulari, and Kayvon Thibodeaux. They were supposed to wreak havoc each and every week, but they’ve been ghosts for two straight weeks. The talent is there on the defensive line and if they can put all the pieces together, they have a good shot to knock off the 49ers in an upset.
Main Photo Credit: Michael Karas-The Record