The New York Giants have been good at most things this season, except stopping the run.
In their losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, New York struggled to halt the rushing attack. Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and company figure to be under more pressure this Sunday, 14 October, when the 3-2 Giants battle the 4-1 San Francisco 49ers at 3.25pm Cayman time on FOX.
The Niners are the NFL’s top rushing team behind star back Frank Gore. With former Giant Brandon Jacobs in the mix, San Fran can beat up opposing defences on a consistent basis. San Fran, as a whole, have stepped up offensively with additions like wide-out Randy Moss helping quarterback Alex Smith find his groove.
The Giants beat the Niners in last year’s NFC Championship Game but both squads have seen significant changes since then. Sunday’s contest, while close, should see San Fran’s second-ranked defence corral Eli Manning en route to a three-point victory.
The other games worthy of note on Sunday are the Miami Dolphins hosting the St. Louis Rams at 12noon on FOX and the Green Bay Packers facing the Houston Texans at 7.20pm on NBC. Miami, 2-3, had an impressive victory over the 3-2 Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday. If the offensive line stands up to the 3-2 Rams’ pass rush, local fans should be treated to a 10-point Dolphin win.
Green Bay, 2-3, have quickly gone from Super Bowl favourites to barely playoff ready. Aaron Rodgers will have his hands full with a third-ranked defence that has the Texans 5-0. Expect Houston to baffle the Packers en route to a seven-point victory.
It should be noted that the 2-2 Pittsburgh Steelers battle the 1-4 Tennessee Titans on Thursday, 11 October, at 7.20pm on NFL Network. Pittsburgh’s defence, behind Troy Polamalu, should batter the Titans in a 15-point win.