NFL Playoffs 2012: NFC Championship Preview/Predictions

San Francisco 49ers (13-3) vs New York Giants (9-7)

Preview: Alex Smith and Eli Manning are the 2 quarterbacks left standing in the NFC.

What, you were expecting Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers?

Smith and Manning both had outstanding performances in there respective divisional playoff games that resulted in this unforseen NFC title game. Let’s face it, their weren’t many experts and fans out there who predicted that New York and San Francisco would be playing for the conference championship this year.

Both teams got to this point on the back of their powerhouse defenses. The New York Giants have held their opponents this postseason to a mere 8 points (Check out my column on the Packers/Giants play-calling to see why it SHOULD be only 8 points and not 22). The 49ers defense took the game to the New Orleans Saints last weekend and picked off Drew Brees twice, sacked him 3 more times and forced 2 fumbles.

Manning and Smith were just as effective as their defenses were. Eli threw for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Alex had the best game of his career throwing for 3 touchdowns and running for one more on a 28 yard play in the fourth quarter.

San Francisco currently own a victory over the Giants at Candlestick Park this year. The 49ers defense picked off Manning twice and Alex Smith threw for 242 yards and a touchdown as San Francisco downed New York 27-20 during week 10 of the regular season.

Fun Fact: This will be the first championship game where 2 quarterbacks who were both selected with the first overall pick in the draft face off since John Elway and Vinny Testaverde did back in 1998

Big Question: Will either team be able to run the ball effectively on Sunday, or will this NFC title game be a Manning/Smith shootout?

Final Pick: I am way more intrigued by this New York/San Francisco match up then I would have been by a New Orleans/Green Bay title game. Their defenses are hitting people in the mouth and their offenses are poised, effective and putting up some major points.

The 49ers already own a victory over the Giants at home this year. They’ve defeated them once before, so why can’t they do it again?

In this writers opinion, lightning will not strike twice. The New York Giants will win this football game.

I love the “Road Warrior” mentality of the New York Giants franchise. Playing on the road would bring anxiety to many a football team in the postseason, but not New York. The Giants won the 2007 Super Bowl after winning 4 straight playoff games on the road. They already own a road victory over the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau Field this postseason, so I don’t see why they would be any less confident going into Candlestick Park on Sunday.

This game is going to be hard hitting, emotional and a treat to watch. If you decide to back the 49ers in this game, I wouldn’t blame you for it. They are just as dominant as the Giants on the defensive end and Alex Smith has just as much momentum on his side as Eli does.

Experience is everything though. New York has been to this dance before. They have won big playoff games on the road before. I would assume that the team has done their homework going into this game as well. The Giants secondary will put a BIG target on Vernon Davis and try to make him a non-factor early on. Their defensive line is good enough to keep Gore and Hunter under wraps, so Alex Smith is going to need to have himself a second straight stellar performance.

You really can’t go wrong going all in with either team here. I just believe the Giants will continue their domination on the road and secure themselves a spot in this years Super Bowl. The 49ers have already proven me wrong before, but the road ends here for Smith and San Francisco. Final Score: Giants 23, 49ers 17

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One Response to NFL Playoffs 2012: NFC Championship Preview/Predictions

  1. roju_7 says:

    I think this will be a great game! I’m really excited for it. I’m going with the 49ers, but could see it going either way for sure.
    Just one thing to point out – the Giants were the home team against Atlanta (being the division champs and all)

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