The New York Giants are preparing for a challenging matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, and all eyes will be on the clash between tight end Darren Waller and linebacker Fred Warner.
The pressure is on Darren Waller in Week 3
With star running back Saquon Barkley out due to injury, the pressure will be on Waller to help make plays for the Giants. Despite dealing with some injuries in the past, Waller is known as one of the most difficult receiving tight ends to cover when healthy.
His catch radius and ability to reach out and snag the ball away from defenders makes him difficult to defend. Waller’s ability to stretch the field and execute routes effectively creates space, allowing quarterback Daniel Jones to take advantage of open passing lanes.
Waller has been playing at a high level through the first two weeks
Waller has been slowly gaining rhythm throughout the first two weeks of the season and is beginning to emerge as the team’s WR1. He had three catches for 36 yards in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys and exploded in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals with six catches for 76 yards.
Waller demonstrated his ability to lead the team in receptions, even tying with Barkley, highlighting his importance in the Giants’ passing game and suggesting that Jones might once again focus on targeting him in Week 3.
Adding excitement to this matchup is the fact that the 49ers’ defense allowed over 300 passing yards to Matthew Stafford in their previous game. Considering Waller’s role as a primary target for the Giants’ passing game, it wouldn’t be surprising if he becomes a focal point once again, challenging Warner and the 49ers defense.
The Giants need to be weary of Fred Warner
However, Waller’s success won’t come easy against Fred Warner, who is widely regarded as one of the best off-the-ball linebackers in the NFL. Warner’s outstanding coverage skills and ability to dominate the middle of the field make him a tough opponent for any pass-catcher. In the 2022 season alone, Warner recorded an impressive 130 combined tackles, two sacks, and 10 passes defensed, along with an interception.
Coming off a game against the Rams where Warner had 11 tackles and a sack, he will be playing with increased momentum and confidence on Thursday night.
Daniel Jones will have to navigate Warner’s presence strategically, finding ways to target receivers outside of his zone to exploit the defense. Waller’s speed and versatility can provide a unique challenge for Warner, making this matchup one to watch closely.