The San Francisco 49ers will be kicking off Week 3 for the NFL with a Thursday Night Football game against the New York Giants. Not only will this be the 49ers first prime time game of the season, it’s also their first home game. The 49ers will have some serious expectations to not just win, but win by a large margin (which really is meaningless as long as they win). This will be a on Amazon Prime. Al Michaels will handle play by play while Kirk Herbstreit handles color.
Is this going to be a curb stomping or is it a trap game? The 49ers are favored by 10.5 points as of this writing and it’s a foregone conclusion it could get ugly quickly. Then again, these kind of upset trap games are oddities you run into within the league. Especially on Thursday Night Football where the limited rest can level the playing field. The 49ers have won their first two games and looked very good doing it. Quarterback Brock Purdy looks to not have missed a step, despite some saying his three deep overthrows against the Los Angeles Rams means everything.
Of course if anything could go against the 49ers, it’s the defense which showed some cracks early in the first half, but managed to fill and solidify things in the second half against the Rams. Before Steve Wilks started as defensive coordinator, running quarterbacks were a source of headaches for the 49ers defense and until we’re proven differently they probably are going to continue being a source of headaches. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is known to run around so this is their first crack at showing this is no longer an issue.
The New York Giants got thumped hard by the Dallas Cowboys to the tune of 40-0 in Week 1. The very next week it looked like another boat race, but this time it was against the Arizona Cardinals. The Giants made a massive comeback in the second half and the Cardinals remembered they were the Cardinals. The Giants come into Levi’s 1-1 and looking to improve upon their terrible 1.5 game showing of football.
If the Giants want to pull off the upset they will have to do it without some of their best players. Running back Saquon Barkley, their best offensive player will be out for the game due to an ankle injury, which allows Matt Breida to maybe take some carries. Breida began his career with the 49ers and showed initial promise in Shanahan’s running game. Unfortunately, he also had a tendency to fumble the ball which put him in the doghouse rather quickly. Could this be a revenge game for Breida?
Speaking of good offensive players on the Giants, Left Tackle Andrew Thomas is also going to be out on Thursday. Thomas was a second team all-pro selection in 2022 and considered one of their best players behind Barkley. It gets worse for the offensive line. Left guard Ben Bredeson is also listed as out with a concussion. This opens up a huge opportunity for the 49ers defensive line, that had issues getting to Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford last week. To round things out with injuries, edge rusher Azeez Ojulari was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The 49ers are coming into this with fewer injuries than fans might be used to. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk is listed as questionable due to a shoulder injury. Cornerback Ambry Thomas is also questionable with a knee issue.
Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023
Kickoff: 5:15 PM PST, 8:15 PM EST
Location: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA
Network: Prime TV (Amazon.com)
Play-by-Play: Al Michaels
Color Analyst: Kirk Herbstreit
For more betting information, please visit DraftKings Sportsbook.