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Ugly 49ers-Giants matchup one of worst in the Super Bowl era

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- According to ESPN's "matchup quality" metric, the Week 9 game between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals was, on paper, the worst game on the NFL schedule since 2014.

Suffice to say, Arizona's 20-10 victory lived down to those expectations in a game that didn't score any points for aesthetics. But now, as the Niners prepare to host the New York Giants on Sunday, there's a chance things could get even uglier for those select few who decide to tune in.

Through the season's first nine weeks, the 49ers and Giants have combined for a total of one victory. The winless Niners and the 1-7 Giants head into Sunday firmly entrenched in the battle for the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

How rare is it for two teams with so little success to meet this late in the season? According to ESPN Stats & Information, this is the third time in the Super Bowl era that two teams are entering a game taking place in Week 10 or later with just one combined win (not including the strike-shortened 1982 season).

Coincidentally, the Giants were involved in the first one, losing 27-16 to the winless Atlanta Falcons in Week 11 of 1966. The other one came in Week 10 of 1984, between the 1-8 Cleveland Browns and 0-9 Buffalo Bills. For what it's worth, Cleveland won 13-10.

Clearly, this isn't the type of game that either of theses teams would want to be involved in. The Niners entered this season in the first year of a rebuild, so their current situation isn't all that surprising, though few would have guessed they'd still be without a win. The Giants, meanwhile, were in the playoffs in 2016 and a team many thought could be a contender in the NFC.

Regardless, this meeting is a prime example of how far both proud franchises have fallen. This is the 10th meeting between the Niners and Giants taking place in Week 10 or later in the Super Bowl era. In each of the previous nine matchups, both teams had at least three wins.

For what it's worth, this game actually has a better "matchup quality" score from the Football Power Index than Week 9's, though this one still doesn't rate very high. The score of 7.8 is the sixth-lowest of any game this season and is the second-worst pregame matchup-quality rating for a game involving the Giants since 2008.

The good news for one team is that by the end of the day Sunday, there will be another win on the résumé. Unless, of course, this one ends in a tie. Given how this season has gone for both teams, that's something that can't be ruled out.