The matchup is finally set for the NFC Championship Game next Sunday, marking the final round of playoffs before one lucky NFC team will punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. The San Francisco 49ers prevailed over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday in a game for the ages at Candlestick Park. One day later, the New York Giants upset the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, giving the 49ers home field advantage in the Championship Game.
The Giants looked great on both sides of the ball on Sunday, but once again this NFC Championship Game looks like it will be a minor repeat of the game against the Saints: a dominant quarterback with a fierce passing game going up against the notoriously staunch defense of the 49ers. In this instance, said quarterback will be New York's Eli Manning, who already has a Super Bowl win under his belt...much like Brees.
Hank Gola of the New York Daily News published an article on Sunday talking up the vaunted 49ers defense and the threat that they will pose to the Giants.
[49ers quarterback Alex] Smith will be facing a much better defense in the Giants but he also has a more complimentary running game. For Manning, he'll see the best defense he's faced since the last time he faced the Niners. With a great pass rush, elite linebackers and a secondary that can cover, the Niners are the most complete defense in the league.
It should be an amazing contest.
49ers fans can only nod in agreement with all of Gola's assessments.
The game should be one of the toughest to predict in the entire postseason, which is really saying something, considering the close games and upsets that we have already seen. One thing is worth noting, however: when these two teams faced off during the regular season, the Niners came away with a 27-20 win. The San Francisco defense has arguably gotten even better since then.