This NFC Championship game between the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park should be determined by their defenses. However, we have the Giants second-ranked quarterback in rating in the post-season, Eli Manning, with 121.8 against the San Francisco 49ers fourth-ranked Alex Smith 103.2. On the Giants red-hot defense, defensive end Osi Umeniyora and linebacker Michael Boley have five sacks combined in the post-season. However, Eli Manning is facing the fourth-ranked defense overall during the regular season. Who will win out in the end? Will 49ers tight end Vernon Davis pull Alex Smith out of the fire and into Indianapolis for the Super Bowl? Or will the Giants talented wide receiver corps overpower the 49ers defense? Super Bowl or bust…
Now to the post-game analysis:
- With a 73-yard touchdown reception by 49ers tight end Vernon Davis from quarterback Alex Smith, the San Francisco 49ers put the first touchdown on the board with 7:21 in the first quarter. Smith’s clutch tight end performed his magic again. Simply amazing catch and run!
- On 4th and 1, New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs was stuffed on the 49ers 34-yard line. The 49ers defense proved their mettle against the run.
- After a 36-yard pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz, the Giants finally score a touchdown to tie the game with a 6-yard pass to tight end Bear Pascoe with 11:21 in the second quarter.
- After several receptions by wideout Victor Cruz, Lawrence Tynes booted an easy 31-yard field goal with 5 seconds until halftime. The Giants take the lead 10-7.
- After a 24-yard reception by running back Frank Gore, 49ers Alex Smith threw a beautiful 28-yard touchdown reception to his tight end Vernon Davis to bring the score 14-10 with 5:26 left in the third.
- After a Frank Gore 10-yard rush and an unnecessary roughness 15-yard penalty by Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty, the 49ers drive stalled on the Giants 46 yard line as 49ers running back Anthony Dixon could not break the first-down line on a 3rd and 1.
- After a loose punt hit wide receiver Kyle Williams, New York Giants wide receiver Devin Thomas recovered the football on the 49ers 29-yard line. With this turnover, Eli Manning threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham to a Giants three-point lead of 17-14 with 8:41 left in the game.
- After a 17-yard rush by Alex Smith and a 18-yard rush by running back Kendall Hunter, 49ers kicker David Akers boots a 25-yard field goal to tie the game 17-17 with 5:43 in the fourth quarter.
- In overtime, 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams fumbled on a kickoff with Devin Thomas recovering the ball on 49ers 24-yard line with 9:42 left. Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked the 31-yard field goal with 7:10 in OT.
The first half was a battle of defenses, as expected. Although the Giants defense broke down initially with the 72-yard touchdown reception by 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, the Giants defense clenched down afterward. On the other side of the ball, however, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVarro Bowman was in Eli Manning’s grill constantly and a factor in almost every 49ers defensive play. Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz made his impact felt as he had 125 receiving yards into the half.
The second half was one of receivers and defenses once again. For the New York Giants, wide receiver Victor Cruz made his mark, and for the San Francisco 49ers, tight end Vernon Davis made his impact once again. The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers defenses were stalwart when it counted. In this half, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was consistently in Eli Manning’s grill.
This game was not quite as action-packed as when New England Patriots Tom Brady was against the Baltimore Ravens or the Denver Broncos. However, Brady and his Patriots are going into the Super Bowl to face Eli Manning and his New York Giants. This is going to be one of the better Super Bowls as Brady’s offense will have overcome this red-hot Giants defense. Patriots Tom Brady avoided Peyton Manning this season, but he got his younger brother instead — again. A rematch of Super Bowl XLII from 2008 coming soon to a television near you…