Mario looks the Mann

  • By: David John
  • Last Updated: October 12 2012, 9:15 BST

David John provides an in-depth preview of NFL Week 5 and he fancies Mario Manningham to score a touchdown for San Francisco.

Manningham: Set for a big game against the Giants

Detroit at Philadelphia (1800 BST)

Both sides have some issues to sort out with the 1-3 Lions trying to get back in the hunt in the NFC North while turnover machine Michael Vick has still not found his rhythm under centre for the Eagles.

Detroit have lost three on the spin but return to the fray after their bye week with some healthier bodies and the potential addition of safety Louis Delmas to the line-up on defense.

Delmas is unquestionably one of the leaders on that side of the ball and his influence could be key as they try to keep Vick on the back foot.

The latter's transition towards a more pass-oriented quarterback has not been the easiest and he has had to endure a great deal of pressure in the pocket behind a rather weary offensive line.

There were more errors from him last week in the loss to Pittsburgh and the stat count is now running at 11 turnovers - five fumbles (one on the Steelers goal-line) and six interceptions.

"He'll fix it," was head coach Andy Reid's reaction and while Vick has improved against the blitz, he has been under pressure on 46 percent of his drop backs so far this season.

The Lions are four-point underdogs and they certainly have the offense to be competitive considering as well that speedy wide receiver Titus Young has returned to practice this week and should feature in the passing game.

So with Vick looking to step things up as well and a decent weather forecast, I just wonder then whether this will be the day when both teams finally click into gear and the points start to flow - the potential is certainly there and the total prediction for the game of 47.5 can be surpassed.

New York Giants at San Francisco (2125)

This is just about the game of the week as last season's NFC Championship contenders clash in the Bay Area.

There is little question that the 49ers and their 4-1 record are the team in much better form and the layers make them 6.5-point favourites to get their revenge on the eventual Super Bowl winners.

The meeting in January was incredibly close and a couple of poor punts from San Francisco returner Kyle Williams (playing in place of the sidelined Ted Ginn Jr) ultimately proved the difference.

There is a feeling then that Jim Harbaugh's side have a point to prove. They head into the game having won their last two outings by a combined total of 79-3 while they lead the NFL in rushing and also points allowed.

No question that the 49ers are a very a good team indeed and looked to have improved rather than regressed from that heartbreaking defeat with the leash seemingly having come off quarterback Alex Smith as he directs a more expansive passing game.

That said, the Giants are revelling in their role of underdog again this weekend and you would not put it beyond them to upset the odds.

Their 'Road Warrior' reputation is extremely well deserved and wide receiver Victor Cruz has talked about how they are able to deliver under pressure when "their backs are against the wall".

Some nice storylines could emerge on the field but perhaps the most interesting is Mario Manningham as he goes up against his former team.

The wider receiver made a clutch reception in the Super Bowl for the Giants but knew he would not be in the Big Apple after the summer due to contract issues and was picked up by the 49ers as they tried to boost their own options downfield for Smith.

Manningham would not go as far as saying he has revenge on his mind against his former employers but has stated this week he is ready to 'play his butt off'.

He should get his chances in the red zone against an iffy secondary that has given up some big plays and a touchdown for him at any time gets the vote.

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