Giants: 3 players who need to step up in Week 3

New York Giants offensive lineman Evan Neal (73) during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium.
John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants face a tough test on Thursday as they travel to San Francisco to take on the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. The Giants will look to continue to carry the momentum they created in their dramatic comeback win in Week 2 over the Arizona Cardinals. But Big Blue will need contributions from all over the field in order to obtain the upset win over the Niners.

Joshua Ezeudu needs to continue to hold it down at left tackle

Second-year offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu has enjoyed a solid start to his 2023 campaign. After logging just 14 snaps in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys, Ezeudu started in place of the injured Andrew Thomas in Week 2, allowing just one pressure in 68 snaps.

Ezeudu will once again have big shoes to fill in Week 3, as Thomas has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Ezeudu will be aiming to replicate the success he saw in Week 2 against a formidable San Fransisco defense this Thursday night.

The Giants need this second-year RT to turn it around

To say Evan Neal has struggled through the star of his young NFL career may be an understatement. After a disappointing rookie season, Neal continued to struggle in Week 1 against the Cowboys.

However, he did improve a fair amount in Week 2, allowing just three pressures, five fewer than the eight he allowed in Week 1. Neal also accumulated a pass block win rate of 93.1% in Week 2.

The former Alabama product will face the ultimate challenge of matching up with the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Bosa, in Week 3. If Big Blue is to have any chance of beating San Francisco, it starts with Evan Neal putting in a solid effort.

When will Kayvon Thibodeaux finally break out?

After a promising end to the 2022 season where Thibodeaux seemed to be making major strides, 2023 has not started out in the same fashion. Through two weeks, Thibodeaux has zero sacks, just two pressures, and only one QB hit.

After recording zero tackles in Sunday’s win against the Cardinals, a frustrated Thibodeaux seemed to call out Giants fans, saying “Even early in the game our own fans are booing us and giving up on us… you start to realize that the only people that matter are the people in the room and the people who are really here for us, is us.”

He also went on to defend his porous stat line, saying that there are a lot of “social media GMs” out there who he feels are too focused on his stat line. Nevertheless, Thibodeaux is due for a big game, and after his recent comments, perhaps there will be some added motivation to prove his doubters wrong in Week 3.

Things will not get any easier for the Giants

New York will begin a tough stretch of games starting Thursday night. After their match with San Francisco follows a brutal stretch of games against the Seahawks, Dolphins, Bills, Commanders, and Jets.

How Big Blue performs against the 49ers will set the tone for the rest of the upcoming stretch. It will be tough for New York to find the win without their stars Saquon Barkley and Andrew Thomas in Week 3.

However, if the rest of the roster steps up accordingly, the Giants could find themselves in a position to pull off an inspiring win.

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