Stop Christian McCaffery

McCaffery is a dual-threat running back who could take it to the house anytime he has the ball. When you talk about “stopping” him, you honestly look at eliminating any big plays from him. McCaffery has been on the field for 91.7% of the 49ers offensive snaps. It’s a ridiculous amount of time for someone with an injury history like his, but it shows how important he is to the offense. He has 48 touches this year and has totaled 304 yards, second in the NFL (Justin Jefferson 309 receiving yards). While on the field almost always, the 49ers have done a good job getting him the ball in key situations. Starting the season with a career-high 268 yards through two games, McCaffery has totaled over 100 yards rushing and scored a touchdown in both 49ers wins. The Giants need to make the first tackle on him and not get him into open space where he can destroy a defense. It will be up to the defensive line to play physically at the point of contact, so Dexter Lawrence and Leonard Williams will be key. Tackling in the Giant’s last game left much to be desired; Micah McFadden and Safety Xavier McKinney will have to be sure when coming down on McCaffery.

Pressure Brock Purdy

As a quarterback, Brock Purdy is not keeping the Giant’s defense up at night. It is the weapons he has surrounding him. The 49ers are a great screen team and love to run them (and well) with McCaffery and do everything receiver Debbo Samuel. They get the ball out quickly, and these guys can make you pay quickly. For lack of a better word, the Giants pass rush has been anemic this year. Nobody wants Kayvon Thibodeaux to bust, but he has been a no-show for the first games. He has totaled zero sacks, one quarterback hit, and one tackle. Those are not numbers you want to see from a top-five overall pick. Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence have done some little things inside, but again, there is no pressure on the quarterback. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale must get creative in his schemes and bring pressure at the correct times. They were successful with some safety blitzes from Jason Pinnok against the Cardinals. If Purdy has all day to throw the ball, it will be a long day for the New York secondary.

Big offensive plays

Jaylin Hyatt, the third-round pick this year, made a huge impact to begin the Giant’s comeback on Sunday. He told Daniel Jones to throw it to him deep, and he’d get there. He did to the tune of 57 yards, and the Giants promptly scored on the next play. He ended the game with only two catches but led the Giants in receiving yards with 89. Even if the Giants are without star Saquan Barkley, they can still use the play-action game to find space for the receivers. Opening it up downfield will also open the underneath for Darren Waller and allow him to catch and run with the ball. The running game will be headed by Matt Brieda and Gary Brightwell, with rookie Eric Gray mixed in. Gray is the best option to make something big happen, but he could be limited because he is still learning to pass block in the NFL. Zone reads will be a nice option, allowing Jones to run with the ball. He is the leading rusher among all quarterbacks in the NFL.

While the cards are stacked against them, the Giants could win this game. They need to come out fired up and not give San Fransisco a chance to jump out to a lead because this team is much better than the Arizona Cardinals, and the Giants will not catch them.