Opponent: at New York Giants
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Line: Giants by 6 1/2
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Records: 49ers 1-3, Giants 2-2
TV/Radio: Ch. 3 (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth), 680, 1320
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH
Kap’s confidence: This is such a big deal it could be Nos. 1-5 on this list. The 49ers quarterback obviously was still reeling from his Week 3 outing in Week 4. The test this week is to get his mojo back. The 49ers have resisted making a change at quarterback because it’s still very early in the season and a switch would be tantamount to admission that they are scrambling. But another poor start-to-finish outing from Kaepernick could start to fracture a locker room that already is dealing with a heavy dose of frustration.
Running back resurrection: The best friend for a struggling quarterback? A robust running game. The 49ers have one of the most promising and hard-charging young tailbacks, Carlos Hyde, but they only gave him eight carries in last Sunday’s loss to the Packers. Reggie Bush is a great target on the sort of short throws that can build a quarterback’s confidence. Bush, however, only had one catch last Sunday. Both need to be more involved against the Giants.
Set Lynch loose: Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch had a sack and two quarterback hits last year against Eli Manning and the Giants. He looked more like he did in 2014 last Sunday in a game in which he and fellow outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks weren’t asked to drop into coverage very often. It will be interesting to see if defensive coordinator Eric Mangini sticks to that simplified style against the Giants.
Watch No. 13: The 49ers already have faced three players who are in the top 20 in receiving yards: Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald and Green Bay’s James Jones. They’ll get a fourth in Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr., whom they “held” to 93 yards last year. Manning will be especially interested in Beckham when he is matched against first-year starter Kenneth Acker, who has allowed 303 receiving yards, second most of any cornerback in the league.
Pack your punch: The first two trips under new coach Jim Tomsula did not go well. The combined halftime score of games in Pittsburgh and Arizona: Opponents 60, 49ers 10. The 49ers were very good on trips, especially East Coast trips, under former coach Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula has to figure out how to recapture the toughness and energy the team had in the past.
Out: TE Vernon Davis (knee)
Doubtful: LB Ahmad Brooks (not injury related, shoulder)
Questionable: WR Quinton Patton (concussion), T Joe Staley (knee)
Probable: G Alex Boone (shoulder, ankle), LB NaVorro Bowman (not injury related), S L.J. McCray (knee), TE Vance McDonald (chest)
Out: DE Robert Ayers (hamstring), WR Victor Cruz (calf), LB Devon Kennard (hamstring), DE George Selvie (calf)
Questionable: LB Jonathan Casillas (calf), CB Jayron Hosley (concussion), CB Trumaine McBride (groin)
Probable: TE Jerome Cunningham (knee), T Ereck Flowers (ankle), DT Markus Kuhn (knee)
vs. Green Bay
at N.Y. Giants
at St. Louis
vs. St. Louis