The New York Giants (3-2) travel -- for the third time in the past two seasons -- to Candlestick Park on Sunday to face the San Francisco 49ers (4-1). The game is, of course, a rematch of last season's NFC Championship Game. Here is a complete preview.
The Basic Stuff
Game Time: 4:15 p.m. ET
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco
Radio: Giants Radio Network (660-AM in New York City area, plus local affiliates)
Line: Giants +3
1. Eli Manning -- The Giants' offense revolves around the star quarterback, of course. In the NFC title game he was sacked six times and hit 12 times. That can't happen on Sunday. The Giants have kept him clean most of the season, and they need to do that Sunday to have a chance to make plays.
2. The entire defensive line -- Cheating, I know. But the Giants have not generated enough pressure on the quarterback or stopped the run consistently enough the past couple of weeks. It is impossible to single out Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora, Linval Joseph ... anyone else who plays on the defensive line. They simply have not gotten the job done the past couple of weeks and that needs to change if they are going to beat the 49ers.
3. Hakeem Nicks -- Can he play? If he plays, how well can he play after missing three games with foot and knee injuries? As well as Domenik Hixon, Rueben Randle and Ramses Barden have played it is Nicks who changes the way opposing defenses play Victor Cruz.
1. Frank Gore -- As has been talked about all week the Giants have been awful against the run the past two weeks. Gore leads the league's best rushing attack. It might be a good idea to tackle him.
3. Alex Smith -- In case you hadn't noticed, the 49ers' quarterback doesn't stink anymore.
Predictions? You want predictions?
Mike Farley, Big Blue View -- Giants 21, Niners 17
Jared Smith, SB Nation New York -- 49ers 27, Giants 17
Giants' video of the week
If you missed it, make sure you check out the Google + Hangout we did with David Fucillo of Niners Nation. It was fun and, we hope, informative.
49ers vs. Giants 2012 Preview (via sbnninersnation)
"Nobody gives us a chance to win." -- Tom Coughlin
"Kevin Gilbride's outrageous, irrational statement regarding Justin Smith's play is, first, an absurd analogy," Harbaugh said.
"Second, it is an incendiary comment targeting one of the truly exemplary players in this league. It's obvious that the Giants coaching staff's sole purpose is to use their high visibility to both criticize and influence officiating." -- Jim Harbaugh
The Last Time
As Forrest Gump would say, that's all I have to say about that.
- Eli Manning is second in the NFL in passing yards with 1,579
- Lawrence Tynes leads the league with 54 points
- Victor Cruz is fourth in receptions with 37
- Tom Coughlin has 77 career victories as Giants' head coach, tied for second all-time with Bill Parcells. Steve Owen has 153.
- Ahmad Bradshaw (3,550 yards) is seventh all-time on the Giants' rushing list. He needs 60 yards to pass Frank Gifford (3,609 yards) for seventh place.
Tweet of the Week
Linebacker Spencer Paysinger tweet the following during the vice presidential debate:
"In hiphop terms: These VP's aren't nothing but hype men aka Spliff Star vs Flavor Flav right now."
I don't know anything about hip hop, but that is still pretty funny.
Brandon Jacobs (knee)