New York is coming off a monster rushing performance against the Cleveland Browns in Week 5, when it rushed for a season-high 243 yards—200 coming from starter Ahmad Bradshaw. The Giants will be in for a tough test against a staunch Niner run defense in Week 6.
San Francisco enters this game coming off a 45-3 drubbing of the Buffalo Bills. Alex Smith threw for 300-plus yards and three touchdowns against a weak Bills secondary. The G-Men should give Smith and the 49ers a tougher time this weekend.
Let's get into the complete game information.
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California
When: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Watch: FOX Sports
Spread: 49ers -6.5 (Bet Online)
Can the Giants pull the upset on the 49ers?
These teams played two extremely close games last season, and for that reason, I like the Giants getting six and a half points.
The Giants are banged up yet still have been able to put points on the board (30.4 PPG). It'll be a close game, and San Francisco very well may win, but not by more than a touchdown.
I like the G-Men here.
Over/Under: 46 (Bet Online)
Take the under.
San Francisco boasts arguably the best defense in the league, while the Giants can get after it as well. So I don't see this being a high-scoring affair.
In six of the 49ers' last nine games against the Giants, the total has gone under, while the total has also gone under in five out of six of New York's last road games.
San Francisco and New York went into overtime last January and still only scored 37 points combined.
Key Injuries: via CBS Sports
NYG TE Martellus Bennett—KNEE—PRB
NYG WR Hakeem Nicks—FOOT/KNEE—QST
NYG WR Ramses Barden—CONCUSSION—PRB
NYG DT Rocky Bernard—QUAD—QST
NYG LB Chase Blackburn—HIP—QST
NYG LB Michael Boley—HIP—QST
NYG RB Andre Brown—CONCUSSION—QST
NYG S Kenny Phillips—KNEE—QST
NYG CB Jayron Hosley—HAMSTRING—PRB
NYG LB Keith Rivers—HAMSTRING—PRB
NYG CB Corey Webster—HAND/HAMSTRING—QST
NYG S Antrel Rolle—KNEE—PRB
SF QB Alex Smith—FINGER—PRB
SF RB Brandon Jacobs—KNEE—PRB
Big Fantasy Players
After a monster Week 5 against the Browns that saw him catch three touchdowns, Cruz heads into Candlestick Park seeking revenge on CB Carlos Rogers, who mimicked Cruz's salsa dance last season.
With Hakeem Nicks battling injuries all season, Cruz has been New York's best scoring threat despite seeing heavier coverage this season.
Cruz has rewarded his fantasy owners with three double-digit scoring weeks, and despite playing against the No. 2-ranked pass defense, I still think he has a solid Week 6 for his owners.
Vernon Davis torched the Giants last season, and with a linebacker likely drawing the responsibility of covering the dominant tight end for most of the game, Davis is in for a big week.
Besides a down Week 4 performance against the New York Jets, Davis has at least 10.3 fantasy points in every game this season, highlighted by a 73-yard, two-touchdown day in a Week 2 win against the Detroit Lions.
Davis is a better starting option than most wideouts this week at home against New York.
Keys to a Giants Win: Make Alex Smith Beat You
I'm still not entirely convinced that Alex Smith is the right quarterback to bring the Niners to the promised land.
Smith may be the highest-rated passer in the NFL, but the 49ers offense has a lot of safe play calls for the 28-year-old QB. What the Giants don't want to do is let Frank Gore beat them on the ground, because believe me, if he's given the opportunity, Gore will gash the G-Men.
The Giants have the pass rush to knock Smith off his game—New York ranked tied for third in the NFL in sacks in 2011. They just need to show up on Sunday.
Keys to a 49ers Win: Force the Giants to Run the Football
The Giants are coming off a dominant rushing performance against the Browns.
But it was the Browns.
Until last week, New York hadn't been able to get its running game going at all this season, and if the 49ers secondary can contain the Giants wideouts, New York will have to move the ball on the ground, where San Francisco's run defense ranks seventh in the NFL.
Prediction: Giants 21, 49ers 20
I have the Giants going into San Francisco and leaving with a win. I think Manning and Cruz will be in sync on offense, and the Giants will finally get their defensive line together for a few sacks against Smith.
Follow me on Twitter: Follow @Pete_Schauer