NFL Week 3 Picks: Giants Move Forward Without Barkley
Most observers, and certainly BetOnline customers, expected that the New York Giants might struggle in Joe Judge’s first season. The former special teams coach of the Patriots has a positive attitude and a youthful vibe. But he is behind the eight-ball from the beginning, as he has lost his star running back early. So Saquon Barkley is out for the year. And the Giants face the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Game time is 1 PM ET at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. And it will be televised on a regional basis by Fox.
The Saquon Saga
Critics of the Giants have long pointed out that Barkley’s vast abilities have been wasted in this offense. That may not be fair, because there have been injuries to the receiving corps. In addition, there was the transition from aging Eli Manning to rookie Daniel Jones last year.
Barkley can at times be a one-man wrecking crew. But the Giants are going to have to do without him. Last week against the Bears he tore his ACL and he will not be available anymore.
The Giants will probably make some personnel moves. But as for incumbents on the roster, they have former Clemson running back Wayne Gallman. And they will also employ Dion Lewis, who was usually a third-down back for the Patriots.
Jones coughs it up – again
Daniel Jones, who got a baptism under fire last season, is turnover-prone. That’s not a secret. He led the NFL with 18 fumbles last year (losing eleven). And in 14 games as a pro, he has committed 27 turnovers. Needless to say, he is susceptible to a pass rush, and he suffered a strip-sack last week.
Here are the numbers…..
In the NFL betting odds posted by BetOnline on this game, San Francisco is favored.
New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers NFL Week 3 Odds
|49ers||-3½ (-109)||41½ (-105)||-185|
|Giants||+3½ (-111)||41½ (-115)||+160|
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Niners rue trip back to Meadowlands
Strangely, the Niners played at MetLife last weekend and have to go back there again this week. Obviously that would be very taxing for a team that had to go all the way home and come all the way back. That’s not the way the Niners are doing it. They have camped out at a resort in West Virginia to cut down on the travel.
But they really don’t want to go back to New Jersey
According to coach Kyle Shanahan, the new turf at MetLife Stadium is the villain in his team’s current injury dilemma. And the truth is, the Niners look like a team ravaged by a tornado.
Defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas are out for the year with ACL injuries. Raheem Mostert was knocked out of this week’s game. QB Jimmy Garoppolo is, in all likelihood, out too, with a high ankle sprain.
Now add the pre-existing injuries to all this. We’re talking about people like Dee Ford, Richard Sherman, Weston Richburg, Deebo Samuel. It keeps going. These guys look like a M*A*S*H unit.
Shanahan had a real horror story about how many knee and ankle injuries the “sticky” new turf has created. He’s complained about it to the point where it’s become a complex for him. They have asked the league to investigate. The league has given the turf its stamp of approval.
And now Shanahan is in a conundrum about whether to use tight end George Kittle, who is coming off a knee sprain. yeah, this is a big problem.
The thing about the Niners missing all those pass-rushers is that it’s less pressure on Jones. And residually, that softens the blow of losing Barkley….. a little. And it appears they are going with a backup quarterback, a single running back instead of three, etc.
These aren’t the Niners who made it to the Super Bowl. And they’re scared of the surface. The Giants are unfazed by that – at least they say so. And they shut out the Bears in the second half, giving them a chance to overcome a 17-0 deficit (although they didn’t). We’ll take the GIANTS plus the points.
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