49ers vs. Giants, NFC Championship Preview

January 20, 2012 | Michael Schwartz

San Francisco 49ers versus the New York Giants for a chance to play in the Super Bowl. Two first overall draft picks playing quarterback. Alex Smith versus Eli Manning, but Manning is the one with the Super Bowl ring.

However, this year, Alex Smith has played a lot better this year than in years past. Smith is being the quarterback that he was projected to be when he was drafted. Smith is connecting with tight end Vernon Davis who had the game winning reception last week against the Saints.

The 49ers offense is good, but they are led by one of the best defenses in the NFL. They are led by middle linebacker Patrick Willis, one of the best linebackers in the NFL today. The 49ers are great at pressuring the quarterback and this allows them to create turnovers. They are the best running stopping team in the NFL. They don’t allow a lot of points, so their offense doesn’t need to score a lot of points.

The Giants offense has their hands full this week against the 49ers defense. The Giants running game is led by Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw is a mix of speed and power, and Jacobs is a pure power back. He is not going to beat you with speed, so he just tries to run through people.

The Giants wide receivers are some of the best tandems in the NFL. Hakeem Nicks has great hands and he runs routes well. Victor Cruz is the breakout wide receiver of the year. Nicks and Cruz are a great combination and this makes Eli Manning’s job a lot easier.

The Giants defense is very good at pressuring the quarterback. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyora, and Jason Pierre-Paul do a great job at getting to the quarterback. They have the best linemen combination in the NFL. They have good linebackers and a good safety. If they pressure Smith, then they have a great chance of winning the game.

Prediction: 24-16 49ers