Grant Cohn: Why 49ers will win on Monday night
Judging just by speed, quickness, agility, balance, change of direction, strength, power, general talent and experience, the New York Giants should cream the 49ers Monday night.
The 49ers are inferior on all those fronts.
But the 49ers will win. Forget the standard metrics. These will be the five determining factors in the 49ers favor:
1. Pat Shurmur Disease.
Shurmur, the Giants’ head coach, is their main problem. The primary reason their record is 1-7. He is the plague in the Giants’ organization.
The Giants have better skill players on offense than almost every NFL team, including the 49ers. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is better than Marquise Goodwin. Running back Saquon Barkley is better than Matt Breida. The only 49ers skill player who could start for the Giants is tight end George Kittle.
But the 49ers average 23 points per game, and the Giants average only 18.8. The Giants are one of the biggest disappointments in the NFL. They rank dead last in rushing attempts even though Barkley is averaging a whopping 4.7 yards per carry. Shurmur doesn’t know how to use the talent on his roster.
Shurmur is an incompetent head coach. Before the Giants signed him this offseason, he coached the Cleveland Browns from 2011 to 2012, and infected that organization, too. His record was 9-23. During games, he sometimes couldn’t even call plays, according to a well-placed source who requested anonymity. Shurmur would freeze with the clock winding down. He was petrified.
Now, the Giants reflect his weakness and self-doubt.
The Giants will make the 49ers look like the 1981-1982 Niners. And Shurmur will make Kyle Shanahan look like Bill Walsh.
2. Mike Solari Withdrawal Syndrome.
Solari is one of the best offensive line coaches in the NFL. He worked for the Giants from 2016 to 2017, and was the 49ers’ offensive line coach from 2010 to 2014.
After last season, he fled the Giants for the Seattle Seahawks, whose offensive line is good for the first time in years. All because of Solari. And the Giants’ offensive line is terrible without him. It is on pace to allow 62 sacks this season.
During the offseason, the Giants gave a four-year, $62 million contract to left tackle Nate Solder, who had protected Tom Brady’s blindside in New England since 2012. The Giants also gave guard Patrick Omameh a three-year, $15 million contract. And they drafted guard Will Hernandez in the second round.
Solder and Hernandez have been awful, and Omameh has been even worse. The Giants cut him Saturday morning. They miss Solari big time. He makes bad offensive linemen play well. He also makes good offensive linemen play well.
The 49ers will prey on the Giants’ terrible offensive line. DeForest Buckner, Cassius Marsh, Dekoda Watson and Ronald Blair all will have monster games.
3. Jim Everett Syndrome.
Everett was the Los Angeles Rams quarterback who infamously sacked himself during the 1990 NFC Championship Game against the 49ers. He had taken so many hits, he sensed pressure that didn’t exist. He had sack trauma. Was no longer functional as a quarterback.
C.J. Beathard had Jim Everett Syndrome before Nick Mullens took his job.