Who can forget the 1990 NFC Championship Game when Matt Bahr knocked off the two-time defending Super Bowl champion 49ers with five field goals? How about the 2002 Wild Card Game that saw the Giants blow a 24-point lead and lose the game they should’ve gotten another chance to win?
The Giants and 49ers played in the NFC Championship Game five years ago, a game won by the Giants en route to victory in Super Bowl XLVI.
When the Giants and 49ers meet Sunday for the 40th time, it will be a matchup of the NFC’s two worst teams. The Giants are 1-7 while the 49ers are 0-9. An appropriate name for this game could be the Toilet Bowl, with the only thing on the line for both teams is draft positioning.
The 49ers are currently the NFL’s worst team, followed by the winless Browns (who have played one fewer game than the 49ers), Giants, and the 2-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Draft positioning is important considering this year’s crop of college quarterbacks is already drawing comparisons to the celebrated Classes of 1983 and 2004.
The 49ers recently acquired Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots, so it is unlikely they would select a quarterback. The Bucs have Jameis Winston, the 2015 No. 1 overall pick, so they wouldn’t be looking for a quarterback either.
The Giants selected California’s Davis Webb in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the team’s highest quarterback selection since taking Philip Rivers with the fourth overall pick in 2004 and trading him to the then-San Diego Chargers for Eli Manning.
The Giants quarterback controversy is becoming convoluted. On one hand, they have a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback with all-time stats who still gives the team the best chance to win. On the other hand, they need to see what they have in Webb before deciding to make a run at one of the top collegiate quarterbacks.
Those decisions will come in time. For now, there is a game between two franchises with nine Super Bowls between them to play…even if both teams have had better seasons.
Of course, the Giants’ coaching staff will say what is expected even though their season is shot to hell in a hand basket.
“Listen, this is pro football, this is our job,” head coach Ben McAdoo said. “We get paid very well to do this job. We only have 16 opportunities to go out and compete and this is one of them. We get to go to the West Coast, planning to compete. And I expect the players to be excited.”
This game may be the Giants’ only realistic chance at a victory for the rest of the season, although San Francisco is an early one-point favorite at home.
After Sunday’s game, the Giants remaining schedule includes home games against the Kansas City Chiefs and each of their NFC East brethren. The Giants have three road games at the Oakland Raiders, Arizona Cardinals, and Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving night.
The only remaining Giants opponent with a record of less than .500 is the 4-5 Oakland Raiders.
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