Championship Preview: Giants at 49ers
@steven_lebron - New York Giants
First, I’ve been terrible at predictions this post-season. Surprisingly it’s comforting to know that the football playoffs are as unpredictable as its ever been. Any one of the remaining four teams winning the Super Bowl registers as a surprise. The Patriots can’t possibly win three playoff games with that defense, can they? The Ravens can’t possibly win the Super Bowl with the inconsistent Joe Flacco under center, can they? The NFC East or NFC West can’t possibly be home to a Super Bowl champion, can they? One of those will actually come true. But before we get to the big game, the conference championships. The Giants have taken a path that well, define who they’ve been in the Tom Coughlin era. It’s impossible to know which team will show up from week to week. Success for this team breeds complacency, complacency breeds an underdog mentality that comes thru when the team wins as we’re ready to write them off. The key for the Giants this week will be their running game. Going up against one of the top defenses, if Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs can establish themselves, it should allow for Hakeem New York Nicks and Victor Just Cruzin’ to go to work. How about those nicknames. Chris Berman is my ghostwriter apparently. But when it comes down to it, I like the Giants in this spot based on their big game experience and because Eli Manning has quietly put together a brilliant season. A rematch of Giants-Patriots? A possibility for Eli Manning to have more Super Bowls than his older brother? That’s all in play. I’ll take the Giants pulling it out with a fourth quarter comeback. Like every week, don’t quote me or remind me of this.
@nhall - San Francisco 49ers
I freely admit that I too am having a tough time getting a handle on this game. If momentum means anything I think the Giants are bringing more of it into this game. The Niners had a thrilling last minute victory at home. It was a fantastic win but I still think the Giants have more momentum. They are playing with a purpose. But will they bring that to the West Coast? The Niners won this match up earlier in the season but it was a very close game that the Giants had a great chance to win it.
I too think the Giants will need to get that running game going. It’s been fantastic since the playoffs started but now the running game sees the stingiest rush defense in the league. What 49er is going to be scared to tackle Jacobs?
We’ll see how Eli plays. He has been fantastic I can’t take that away from him. But he also hasn’t seen a defense like this. Something has to give here. How will Alex Smith play after last week’s legend making performance? Can Harbaugh still keep the team’s emotions near the point of no return? Will Vernon Davis be able to make the same kind of difference in the passing game or will he be stuck blocking New York’s pass rushers? Lots of questions I’m not sure which way to go. In the end I think the Giants will need a turnover or two to go their way in order to put the game away. However, this 49ers team takes care of the ball. That will be the difference in this game. I’ve been picking the Giants each week but this time I’m all in on Harbaugh.
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