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GoJo and Golic preview Thursday Night Football: Can the Giants slow down the 49ers?

Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr. discuss how New York can keep Thursday’s matchup with San Francisco close.

The Giants travel to the Bay to take on the 49ers and right off the bat, it seems like a mismatch given the way both teams have played and the fact that Giants star Saquon Barkley has already been ruled out.

On Wednesday’s show, Thursday Night Football analyst Andrew Whitworth had strong praise for the 49ers, noting that they have All-Pros on every level on both sides of the football.

So what do Mike Golic Jr. and Mike Golic Sr. think it all means for the Giants with Barkley ruled out?

“It means Daniel Jones better get on that horse and run because that’s about the only thing that’s going to give them a chance,” said GoJo, especially down multiple starters on the offensive line and with the wide receiving corps still struggling.

Senior notes that this is one of those games where, even with a 10.5-point spread on DraftKings Sportsbook, you just want to easily take San Francisco and that’s where you run into trouble and the game gets closer than anyone predicted. Senior says the Giants can keep this close with their defense. The Giants’ defense is going to have to keep this 49ers offense in check because you can’t go score-for-score with them, but this is going to be a tough task.

GoJo says they have to play, perhaps not more reckless, but cut it loose a little bit more. He notes that against Arizona last week they came out and threw caution to the wind in the second half and started going bombs away, and they were rewarded with two of their best drives starting with deep shots. So GoJo thinks they need to try stuff like that early, because the Giants won’t be able to count on long, sustained drives against a defense like San Francisco. He says you’re going to have to hope you can force a penalty, you’re going to have to hope you can hit a big play and you’re going to need your quarterback to go out there and do something on the ground. GoJo pointed out that the formula for the Giants in the second half last week was to throw a deep pass, throw an RPO to Darren Waller over the middle or have Daniel Jones tuck it and run if nothing else is there. However, GoJo points out that all of those things get infinitely harder when Nick Bosa and Fred Warner are the defenders you’re lining up against. All that being said, GoJo still thinks cutting it loose and throwing the ball downfield has to be a holdover from the second half of last week’s game.

Senior says if he were to go back to his defensive roots, the game plan for the 49ers would start with containing Daniel Jones, and that’s exactly what Kyle Shanahan has said. When he called the Giants’ Week 1 opener vs. the Cowboys one of his key points was to keep Daniel Jones from being able to escape. So he thinks it comes down to pass rush lane integrity and not letting Jones escape to the outside. And you have to get constant pressure on Jones, as the Giants have allowed him to be sacked 10 times this season, so Senior is not expecting Jones to have a lot of time in this showdown with the 49ers.

On the other side, one of the things GoJo was surprised by was how the Giants' defense was pushed around last week by the Cardinals. He said you saw last week the Giants were gashed by counter and outside zone which hello 49ers and a team that got targeted by the tight end position. Who does San Fran have at the tight end position again? Oh yeah, George Kittle.

Senior says he still thinks it will be up to the Giants defense to slow down the 49ers offense and one of the ways to do that is to get the quarterback off schedule. He points out that the Giants currently have ZERO sacks on the season, and while you can get pressure without getting a sack, Brock Purdy has had a pretty clean pocket to start the season and the Giants will need to change that. GoJo points out that right now the 49ers just seem to be a team ahead of EVERYBODY, and just seem to have hit the ground running in a meaningful way to start the season.


Hour 1: Courtney Cronin on Justin Fields’ Presser Comments & Update on Bears DC Alan Williams + Prime TNF Preview: Giants at 49ers, and a heated Golic Pickleball Match

Hour 2: Dianna Russini on Da Struggling Bears, Raiders relationship w/ Chandler Jones and Update on Saquon Barkley + Jenny’s Pickleball Revenge, Top 25 Matchups in CFB and the XFL, USFL Merger


Watch GoJo and Golic every weekday on Samsung TV Plus, Roku and from 8 to 10 a.m. ET. The show will also be available via audio on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow Mike Golic Sr. on X at @golic and Mike Golic Jr. on X at @mikegolicjr.

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