New York Giants Daniel Jones
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

The New York Giants will look to get their first win of the season as they take on the injury-ravaged San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Jason Leach

It’s difficult to call a Week 3 matchup a must-win game for a team that’s not expecting to make the playoffs. But if the (0-2) New York Giants are going to play meaningful games late in the season, they need to find a way to defeat the injury-ravaged (1-1) San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

As much as the Giants are dealing with key injuries to Saquon Barkley and Sterling Shepard, that pales in comparison to the 49ers who will be without several key starters on Sunday including quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman.

If the Giants don’t win on Sunday, you have to wonder when they’ll finally win a game as the schedule only gets tougher, starting with the Rams next week.

Head coach Joe Judge was asked earlier this week if Sunday’s game is a must-win game for his team.

“Look, we prepare every week to win. We do everything we can. Yeah, it’s the NFL. That’s what we’re paid for on a weekly basis, that’s what our guys work for. We’re preparing every week to do the same thing.”

Here’s what the Giants will need to do to win against the 49ers.

Daniel Jones has to eliminate his turnovers

Simply put, Daniel Jones needs to stop turning the ball over. His four turnovers in two games are unacceptable. Jones must find a way to resolve his turnover issues or else the Giants will suffer another disappointing defeat. 

The offensive line can’t get dominated

As a team, the Giants are averaging 2.7 yards per rushing attempt and 52 yards per game on the ground which is dead last in the NFL. Many of the 49ers best defensive players such as Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and Dee Ford are out, but they still have a respectable defense led by Fred Warner.

It’s pride check time for the offensive line they must win the battle of the line of scrimmage against the 49ers front seven.

Get off to a fast start

Last week the Giants defense allowed the Bears to take the opening drive 82 yards on 12 plays to score the game’s first touchdown. The Giants can ill-afford another slow start. They need to get off to a fast start to spark the team and score the first points of the game and play with a lead rather than trying to play catch up. 

Get pressure on Nick Mullens

Nick Mullens will be making just his ninth career start on Sunday, and the Giants defensive front seven needs to make him feel uncomfortable in the pocket. The Giants pass rush has been good this season as they have six sacks on the season and have been able to apply pressure often.

If they can apply constant pressure on Mullens they can force him into a mistake that could pave the way to victory.

Prediction: The Giants are desperate for a win and the 49ers seem leery about playing on the turf at MetLife Stadium after claiming the field caused several of their injuries last week. The Giants should be able to defeat the depleted 49ers team on Sunday. Giants 21, 49ers 17.

NYY

NYM

NYG

NYJ

NYK

BKN

NYR

NYI

NJD

SJU