The San Francisco 49ers have been surviving injuries and a key suspension. Heading into Week 11 and a game against the New York Giants, Jim Harbaugh's club is 5-4 and in the thick of the NFC. With outside linebacker Aldon Smith back after missing the first nine games due to suspension, the 49ers appear primed to make a run with the soft spot of their schedule on the horizon. Meanwhile, the Giants are simply hoping to get back on track at 3-6 and losers of four straight.
The 49ers have relied mostly on a second-ranked defense this season, despite not having Smith to rush the passer. San Francisco has also been without NaVorro Bowman while he recovers from a torn ACL, and Patrick Willis due to a toe injury. Willis was ruled out for the season earlier this week, forcing rookie Chris Borland into the starting role for the foreseeable future. Borland has played well, racking up 50 tackles, second-highest on the team.
On offense, Colin Kaepernick has been an enigma. Despite elite athleticism, Kaepernick has been sacked 31 times. Additionally, Kaepernick has completed just 61.9 percent of his passes even with one of the best receiver groups in the game, headlined by Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree. Boldin continues to defy age at 34 years old, catching 51 balls for 635 yards and three touchdowns.
New York has struggled to create much of an identity. Offensively, the team has gone through hot and cold spells under first-year offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo. The offense seemed to be clicking after five weeks with the Giants on a three-game winning streak, but injuries submarined them, specifically Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings. Cruz is out for the season with a torn patellar tendon while Jennings is finally ready to return after dealing with a knee injury.
How to Watch
Where: MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
When: 1 p.m. ET
Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt, John Lynch
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