49ers Vs. Giants, NFC Championship Game: Chris Culliver Needs A Big Game

Much has been said about the wide receivers of the New York Giants and the test they present to the San Francisco 49ers, especially when healthy as they are now. It's easily the most important matchup for the Giants, and it's up there for the 49ers. It's true the San Francisco secondary is vastly better than most figured it would be, but there are still week points.

The 49ers rely on a hard-hitting group of safeties to keep offenses honest, and for the most part, it works. But Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham are the group of receivers that can really make the 49ers work harder than ever to establish their gameplan. What's worse is that the 49ers' corners also didn't perform too well against the Giants in the first outing. Sure, Carlos Rogers was and is amazing this year (one of the best corners in the league, actualy), but there are definite weak spots.

Chris Culliver is potentially one of those weak spots. He's had a solid year after being drafted out of the third round, especially when some had never even heard of him. One good thing Culliver has done this season is step up. He took on Calvin Johnson when the 49ers played the Detroit Lions, and he's done well against some of the top receivers in the league.

More: Which other 49ers players need to step up on Sunday?

But against some of the lesser-known guys, Culliver has been beat. He's been beat like any rookie gets beat. He has a tendency to bite on curl routes, and that brings up some of the biggest issues that almost cost the 49ers against the Saints. Culliver would miss a tackle near the sideline, and then you just have the safeties, who are going for that one big hit. If they don't make it, then that's a touchdown all day.

Needless to say, Culliver needs to be on his game on Sunday. Manningham abused him in the first meeting, but then again, Culliver could be out for blood because of it.

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