The New York Giants face the San Francisco 49ers today, hoping to reach the fifth Super Bowl in franchise history. The Giants and 49ers have met seven times in the playoffs -- all since 1981 -- with the 49ers holding a 4-3 edge.
The NFC East champion Giants are 11-7 overall, while the NFC West champion 49ers are 14-3. The 49ers, who defeated the Giants 27-20 in a regular-season matchup, are three-point favorites. Game time is 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX.
Today's winner will face either the Baltimore Ravens or New England Patriots Feb. 5 in Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLVI.
The Giants, as we know, have won four straight games after stumbling to a 7-7 record through 14 games. They have beaten both the Atlanta Falcons and the defending champion Green Bay Packers in the playoffs to reach this point. The 49ers easily won their division, then defeated the New Orleans Saints, 36-32, in the divisional round.
New York will rely on the right arm of Eli Manning (4.933 passing yards) and the big-play ability of wide receivers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. Defensively, we know the Giants are led by a defensive line anchored by All-Pro Jason Pierre-Paul.
San Francisco has a conservative offense built around the running of Frank Gore and the ability of quarterback Alex Smith to play turnover-free football. The 49ers have a dominant defense led by linebackers Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.