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The 49ers will win/lose against the Giants if...

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A step up in mediocrity.

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The San Francisco 49ers host a bad New York Giants squad in Week 10 on Monday Night Football. Both teams are in the running for a high draft pick, but both have some moderate reasons for optimism. The 49ers know they’re getting Jimmy Garoppolo back next year, but they also have Nick Mullens looking to build on a monster performance. The Giants have big weapons in Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, but Saquon Barkley is proving to be an incredible dual threat. Maybe this MNF affair is a little more interesting than people might expect.

The 49ers will win if...

Nick Mullens puts up another near perfect passer rating. The Giants offense is something that should be better than it is. It’s got one of the best wide receivers in the league, a running back who is becoming one of the best in the league, and a quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls. Despite those three things, the Giants offense has been less than desirable and won’t be keeping up if the 49ers decide to make Nick Mullens look like Joe Montana again. If Mullens—and the running backs by extension (minus Raheem Mostert mind you) —can produce again against an awful defense, the Giants aren’t winning this one. Not with the way that offense goes. It just can’t keep up with it’s defensive collapses.

I didn’t even get to the part about how bad the Giants offensive line is, ranking 27th in Pro Football Focus’ rankings. The 49ers feasted on a bad offensive line against the Oakland Raiders, so maybe that underachieving can continue against the Giants.

The 49ers will lose if...

The defense decides it had enough fun after last week. Remember that part where I mentioned the quarterback and weapons? Sure, maybe said quarterback is overrated beyond all, and his weapons are playing on a bad team, but if they wake up this could be a long night. The 2018 Giants are not the 2017 Giants, they don’t have a coach to quit on this year like they did last year and I doubt they are none too happy without the way this season is going.

Robert Saleh’s defense played mighty well against a mighty bad Raiders team last week. This week is a noticble step up in mediocrity, and the 49ers might be without Reuben Foster. Eli Manning has a few plays in him, though few and far between. If the 49ers let him score whenever he feels like it, he’ll once again be getting talk of being ‘elite.’