Bye Week Briefing – How Will Giants and Niners Fare After Time Off?

The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers both enter their bye week coming off of losses. If the playoffs began today, neither would qualify. Each team can look forward to more home games the rest of the way, including three divisional games in front of friendly fans. That being said, both Tom Coughlin and Jim Harbaugh have a significant amount of work to do.

The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers both enter their bye week coming off of losses. If the playoffs began today, neither would qualify. Each team can look forward to more home games the rest of the way, including three divisional games in front of friendly fans. That being said, both Tom Coughlin and Jim Harbaugh have a significant amount of work to do.

It is difficult to gauge who the real Giants are. They began the year 0-2, getting outscored by three touchdowns in Detroit and by two scores at home against the Cardinals. They rebounded with convincing wins over the Texans, Redskins, and Falcons. However, divisional road games in Philadelphia and Dallas resulted in resounding defeats. Injuries have taken their toll, as they often do at this stage of the season: top wide receiver Victor Cruz is out for the year, and running back Rashad Jennings has missed the last couple of games.

The Giants need at least six wins in their final nine games to get to 9-7 and have a realistic chance at the playoffs. The next part of their schedule is a veritable gauntlet, though. Their first four opponents after the bye are Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and Dallas. Things ease off after that, as the Giants play Jacksonville, Tennessee, Washington, and St. Louis in their next four. If the Giants survive the start of November, they will have a solid shot at winning four straight to potentially set up a postseason play-in game with Philadelphia in week 17. This year, the Giants are 3-4 against the spread but 2-1 at home. Under Coughlin, the Giants are 7-5 after a bye, though they’ve won five straight and six of seven following a week off.

Between injuries, suspensions, and quarterback play, the Niners have been the definition of inconsistent this year, both in personnel on the field and quality of play. San Francisco won at Dallas 28-17 to begin the season, a win that is looking more impressive by the week. Then they dropped their home opener to Chicago 28-20 and fell at Arizona 23-14. A three game winning streak against Philadelphia, Kansas City, and St. Louis came to an end in with a 42-17 loss at Denver this weekend. San Francisco has played the most difficult schedule in the league thus far.

After their bye, the Niners will host St. Louis before back-to-back road games at New Orleans and the Giants. San Francisco has lost to the Rams just once in their last seven meetings. Against the spread this year, the 49ers are 4-3 including 2-1 at home. Harbaugh has has mixed results after a layoff; he is 1-1-1 after regular season byes, but 2-0 after resting during the first round of the playoffs.

(Photo credit: Rajiv Patel [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/] via Creative Commons.]