A buddy of mine who went to Kentucky is in town this weekend so we're heading out shortly for Zeke's to watch the Kentucky-Florida game, as well as the Cal game. So feel free to use this as an open thread as well for college games today. Oklahoma is in a dogfight at Iowa State and South Carolina is losing to Vanderbilt, so we could be in for another crazy weekend.
However, I also wanted to throw out some quick thoughts on matchups the 49ers will have to deal with tomorrow, as well as a few thoughts.
WHO vs. Shockey
Sfgfan made a good point earlier in the week as far as being concerned about who would cover Jeremy Shockey. It sounds like Brandon Moore and Parys Haralson will be getting a good chunk of playing time with Hannibal Navies on the shelf. I'd assume we'd combine one of them with a safety but I'm not 100% sure. Banta-Cain is not the best coverage guy, so it makes it a tough matchup for us. Our secondary can handle the Giants receivers, but I'm not so confident about Shockey.
49ers offensive line vs. Giants pass rush
The Giants have a filthy pass rush and will be quite a test for our inconsistent offensive line. There was a lot of talk about how they worked on ways to improve. If the offensive line struggles, I think running a West Coast style short passing offense would make up for a potential lack of running game. I'd prefer to see The Disease lined up wide and get some quick passes and WR screens. Mix in Gore with screen passes and swing passes. Some quick slants across the middle. Anything to take away the pass rush.
Clements and Harris vs. Burress and Toomer
This is going to be a fun pair of matchups. We may struggle against Shockey, but if we can take out the big receivers we can hang in there. I'd expect Clements and Harris to be on islands out wide because the safeties will be helping with Shockey and the Giants run game. So our two corners are going to have to step up yet again.
Patrick Willis/LB corp vs. Giants 3-headed monster of RBs
Clearly Brandon Jacobs is the Giants guy going forward, but Droughns and Ward have made big contributions and will get plenty of chances to spell Jacobs. I think Willis vs. Jacobs could be interested considering Jacobs' size and Willis' power. Willis has been a playmaker and that will need to continue this week.
I've obviously missed plenty of other matchups, so feel free to throw your own thoughts out there. This is a huge game for the 49ers and with Dilfer starting again, we're going to need contributions across the field.