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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
Giants' Ahmad Bradshaw expects a physical challenge from 49ers
Excerpt: "Mario Manningham reached out to Ahmad Bradshaw on Sunday, following the running back’s career game. He wanted to congratulate his close friend and former teammate who reached the 200-yard plateau for the first time. He also let him know that he’ll be facing a completely different defense the next Sunday.
“I told him, ‘Yeah, you’re trying to make up for when we play y’all, huh?’ ” Manningham, the former Giant and now 49er, quipped on a conference call with reporters today.
The Giants know the 49ers aren’t the Browns. The numbers and their experiences remind them. The consensus in the Giants locker room is that their NFC Championship Game victory in San Francisco was the most physical game they’ve ever played. They expect more physicality Sunday. And for the 49ers it all starts with stopping the run." Read more...
Giants' Keith Rivers expects to return for 49ers game
Excerpt: "Keith Rivers' hamstring injury has nagged through the first five weeks of the season, keeping him out of three games and limiting him when he did play.
But the Giants linebacker said he's finally turned a corner and expects to play Sunday against the 49ers.
"Obviously, hamstrings are tricky, so you've always got to be cautious until they’re completely gone," Rivers said today. "I felt like I turned the corner where I can see kind of the light at the end of the tunnel."
Rivers played the opener against Dallas and the Week 3 game at Carolina. But he admitted he didn't let the muscle rest enough and wound up aggravating it in practice. He sat out each of the past two games against the Eagles and the Browns but was "excited" to practice fully both yesterday and today." Read more...
Kevin Gilbride not worried about ex-Giants sharing secrets of offense with 49ers
Excerpt: "Mario Manningham, the former Giants receiver who now plays for the 49ers, said he's been coaching his new teammates up on his old offense.
He can offer the San Francisco defensive backs information on "what's going to happen here, things like that," he said on a conference call yesterday. He's also letting them in on how Eli Manning thinks.
"I know what’s going on," said Manningham, who played four seasons for the Giants. "I share it with them."
Between Manningham and running back Brandon Jacobs -- who spent his first seven NFL seasons with the Giants before signing with San Francisco -- how concerned is offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride?" Read more...
Joe Martinek was ready to move on when Giants' call came
Excerpt: "Joe Martinek's agent made the rounds. He called each team on behalf of his client, whom the Giants waived in their first round of preseason cuts. Each team gave the same response: keep waiting, as the season continues and players get hurt you'll probably get a call. It's a numbers game.
That call finally came early this week. And, again, it was the Giants, who signed him onto their practice squad.
"It was getting a little frustrating being at home just working out everyday," the Hopatcong High School and Rutgers product said. "I was going to have to start looking for a job soon so mentally it was taking a little toll on me, but I just kept staying positive and continuing to work out.
Martinek, 23, originally signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent and caught two passes for 22 yards and a touchdown in the preaseason." Read more...
Giants' Hakeem Nicks returns to practice
Excerpt: "Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks returned to the practice field and is participating in at least individual drills today -- a possible sign he could try to return for this week's game at San Francisco.
Nicks has missed the past three games with foot and knee injuries. He last practiced, in a limited capacity, before the Week 4 game against the Eagles, but his knee -- which he banged on the turf in Week 2 against the Buccaneers, in addition to aggravating his surgically repaired foot -- swelled afterward. Nicks has been sidelined since and did not practice yesterday.
While the media were at practice today, Nicks lined up for some jog-through plays and also went through individual drills. Only team plays count toward a player's participation, so we'll see how the team lists him later." Read more...
Giants' embracing role of underdog against 49ers
Except: "They are the defending Super Bowl champions. They are preparing for an opponent whose home turf was their last stop to that Super Bowl, just more than eight months ago.
And yet, we know how these Giants love to be the underdogs.
“Nobody gives us a chance to win,” coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday morning. “We’ll see.”
That’s how Coughlin described the motivation for his team this week, as it prepares for an NFC Championship Game rematch against the 4-1 San Francisco 49ers .
“I just sense it,” Coughlin said. Then he admitted, “I’m hoping that way.” Read more...
Giants' Martellus Bennett plans to play vs. 49ers
Excerpt: "Martellus Bennett played through much of the Giants' win over the Browns with a hyperextended left knee he sustained when he slipped on the wet, artificial grass at MetLife Stadium last Sunday.
And though he didn't practice Wednesday, he expects to play Sunday against the 49ers.
"Hopefully. That's the plan," the tight end said. "We're doing everything we can to be ready for this weekend. Working with the trainers and doing stuff on my own. The plan is to be out there on Sunday. That's always the plan. But like in anything, things don't always go according to play, but we're heading in the right direction right now."
Bennett acknowledged that he "messed some [stuff] up" in the knee, but didn't elaborate. Candlestick Park in San Francisco is notorious for its poor natural grass playing surface, but Bennett said it won't play a factor in whether he plays or not.
"I like natural grass better than the other stuff with the rubber in it – the artificial turf, the artificial grass," said Bennett, who had three catches for 30 yards and played a significant role in blocking for Ahmad Bradshaw against the Browns. "I like real stuff better than fake stuff personally." Read more...
49ers' Mario Manningham doesn't hold a grudge, but is motivated to face his former team
Excerpt: "As soon as he became a free agent, on March 13, Mario Manningham came to the realization that he wouldn't wear a Giants uniform again.
Four days later, on March 17, he was a San Francisco 49er, joining the team he helped defeat in the NFC Championship game with a 17-yard touchdown reception two months earlier.
In a conference call with reporters this afternoon, Manningham said he wasn't offended that the Giants didn't show much interesting in bringing him back. He understands the NFL is as much a business as it is a sport. But facing his former employer is still something he's looked forward to since the schedule was released.
"Do I have a grudge? No. Am I motivated? Yeah," Manningham said. "I'm motivated by every game. Especially this game. Who wouldn't be motivated by their old team?" Read more...
Victor Cruz says another salsa rendition by Carlos Rogers "won't sit well with me"
Excerpt: "49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers told reporters in San Francisco earlier this week that if he makes a play against Victor Cruz, or gets an interception, "just do his dance."
That's what Rogers did in the team's regular-season meeting last year, after notching an interception on a pass intended for the Giants receiver. If Rogers is at it again when the teams play this weekend, Cruz said he won't be pleased.
"I obviously won't be OK with that," Cruz said on a conference call with the San Francisco media. "But it is what it is. He's going to choose what he wants to do. It is what it is. I'm not going to try to retaliate or go crazy. That's not me. But it obviously won't sit well with me, as I've stated in the past."
Cruz started doing the salsa dance last season to honor his grandmother, who taught him the dance, and their Puerto Rican heritage. His grandmother passed away last month at age 77." Read more...
Jacquian Williams "pretty sure" last year's fumbles will be in 49ers' heads on Sunday
Excerpt: "Jacquian Williams is "curious" to see how he feels when he takes the field at Candlestick Park this Sunday.
The last time the second-year Giants linebacker was there was for the NFC Championship Game in January. And he made a decisive play in that victory, stripping the ball from punt returner Kyle Williams' grasp in overtime to set up Lawrence Tynes' game-winning field goal.
It was one of two costly fumbles Kyle Williams made in that game. When the 49ers see the Giants again this Sunday, could those mistakes be in their heads?
"I’m pretty sure," Jacquian Williams said. "I'm pretty sure any team would be. They’ll be aware of it, but I don't expect them to shy away from what their plans are to do. I don’t expect them to fair catch it or anything." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
Nicks: Friday will be "defining day" on return
Excerpt: "The replacement receivers have done a wonderful job filling in for Hakeem Nicks during his three-week absence. At times, their big games have made the drop-off hard to notice.
But there’s just something undeniably special for the Giants about having Nicks on the field with the offense. And the 24-year-old receiver knows it, too.
“Definitely. We all know that,” Nicks said on Thursday. “We all know what I can bring to the table when I’m out there. Right now it’s just a matter of making sure I’m able to compete at the highest level when I’m out there. It’s just a matter of me taking care of my body.
“(Friday) will be the defining day.”
Whether or not Nicks can practice on Friday will likely define whether he’ll be able to play on Sunday when the Giants (3-2) travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers (4-1) in a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game. Nicks tested out his injured right foot and left knee in practice on Thursday for the first time in two weeks. And while Tom Coughlin said he “moved around OK,” Nicks said he was very limited and was just hoping to get a feel for his conditioning level." Read more...
Nicks returns to practice
Excerpt: "It's just a first step, but it could be a big one.
Hakeem Nicks, the Giants' top receiver who has missed the last three games with injuries to his foot and his knee, was in pads and on the practice field with his team on Thursday afternoon. It appeared from the media's long-distance vantage point (see the picture above) that Nicks was at least participating in individual drills.
His actual participation won't be known until Tom Coughlin addresses the media after practice.
Regardless, just the fact that he was on the field is a step in the right direction. On Wednesday he was in pads and stretched with the team, but didn't actually do anything. It appears that today he's at least trying to gauge how his knee feels, so the Giants can decide whether to take him to San Francisco on Saturday.." Read more...
Myers: Justin Tuck held without QB sack so far, and that needs to change for Big Blue
Excerpt: "As the NFL heads into the sixth weekend of the 2012 season, there have been 201 players who have registered sacks, starting with Houston’s J.J. Watt, who leads with 8.5, all the way down to the 22 players who barely make the list with a half-sack apiece.
That’s an average of just over six players per team.
You start on page one and start looking for Justin Tuck and keep scrolling down a few pages.
Page 2? Nope.
Page 3? He’s not there.
He’s not even on the top of Page 5, where the last name of any player who has come up with a sack is listed.
Where’s Tuck? He is grouped with all the other players who were sack-less in September and now October." Read more...
Giants' Insider" Tom Coughlin playing the underdog card
Excerpt: "Nobody plays the underdog better than Tom Coughlin and the Giants.
Niners' salsa shennanigans irk Cruz
They were at it again on Wednesday when Coughlin met with the defending Super Bowl champions and reminded them once again that the world is against them. They head to San Francisco on Sunday as six-point underdogs with, he believes, everyone picking the 49ers.
“Nobody gives us a chance to win,” Coughlin said. “We’ll see.”
A few hours later, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, “That’s probably an exaggeration — a big one.” And he’s probably right. But that won’t stop Coughlin from playing the us-against-the-world card.
Because it usually works.
“I don’t think we like it,” Justin Tuck said. “I think we like to have people say that this football team has proven us wrong a lot of times and maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt.” Read more...
Excerpt: "At first Victor Cruz insisted he “could care less” whether 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers mocks his salsa dance, as promised, on Sunday. A few hours later the truth came out.
Cruz cares. A lot.SITE LINK
“It obviously won't sit well with me,” Cruz said on a conference call with the San Francisco media when asked about Rogers’ plans to do the dance again. “It's something I do for my grandmother. It's something that's sacred to me. Due to her passing, and even before she passed away, it was something that's dear to me. And why I do it is for her, and because she told me she loved it so much and she taught me how to do it.
“Knowing that, it's a little slap in the face." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST.
Nicks returns to Giants' practice
A sight the Giants have waited for happened on Thursday as Hakeem Nicks was on the practice field, running around and participating in individual drills, running routes and catching passes.
Nicks has missed the past three games with right foot and left knee issues and the Giants are hoping they can get him back for Sunday’s clash with the 49ers in a rematch of last year’s NFC title game. Nicks missed the game against the Panthers in his hometown of Charlotte because his foot did not have enough time to rest after a playing a game four days earlier. He was expected to play against the Eagles but after practicing on a Thursday his left knee unexpectedly swelled up the next day, forcing him out of that game. He was not close to playing in last week’s victory over the Browns.
The key for Nicks will be how he holds up in practice and, more importantly, how he responds physically on Friday. The Giants aren’t leaving for San Francisco until Saturday and by then they should know if Nicks will join them on the cross-country flight." Read more...
Coughlin uses us against the world as Giants prepare for rematch vs. Niners
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin bases so much of his preparation on statistics, numbers and tendencies, but yesterday he was just sort of winging it.
He has no proof, but that didn’t stop the Giants coach from offering his perception of what most everyone is thinking about his team heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship rematch with the 49ers.
“Nobody gives us a chance to win,’’ Coughlin said. “We’ll see.’’
Nobody? No one giving the Super Bowl champs a shot at beating the 49ers? Is there any evidence at all to support this?
“I just sense it,’’ Coughlin said before breaking into a smile and adding, “I’m hoping that way.’’ Read more...
Giants' Cruz calls salsa by Rogers a 'slap in the face"
Excerpt: "Rogers irked Cruz in last season’s regular-season game between the Giants and 49ers – won by the Niners, 27-20 – by breaking into the salsa after one of his two interceptions of Eli Manning. Cruz in his memoir, “Out of the Blue,’’ wrote he thought the dance was “a cheap Victor Cruz imitation’’ and vowed to get payback on Rogers and the 49ers.
Cruz made good on his promise, torching Rogers for 10 catches for 142 yards in the NFC Championship Game – won by the Giants, 20-17, in overtime - including a torrid eight-reception first half that had Rogers on the sideline pleading for help because he could not deal with Cruz. In audio captured on NFL Network’s Sound F X, Rogers could be heard complaining “I can’t cover the option route all day. If I go inside then he runs outside.’’ Read more...SITE LINK
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants' Jacquian Williams recalls NFC Title game
Excerpt: "LB Jacquian Williams said he’s curious to know what emotions he’ll experience when he returns to Candlestick Park after he forced the second fumble from 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams in last season’s NFC Championship game, leading to Lawrence Tynes’ winning field goal in overtime.
"Just realizing how big of a play it was, how it helped change the game," said Jacquian Williams, calling it the best moment of his NFL career.
After the Giants’ 20-17 win on Jan. 22, Jacquian Williams and teammate Devin Thomas, who recovered the key fumble, said they were aware of Kyle Williams’ concussion history and believed he would be vulnerable to a big hit. Kyle Williams told reporters in San Francisco this week he didn’t believe the Giants were head-hunting and Jacquian Williams stressed that Wednesday." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Giants' Injury Report - 10/11/2012
Did Not Participate in Practice
RB Andre Brown(Concussion)
S Kenny Phillips (Knee)
Limited Participation in Practice
TE Martellus Bennett (Knee)
LB Chase Blackburn (Hip)
T David Diehl (Knee)
WR Hakeem Nicks (Foot/Knee)
CB Coery Webster (Hand/Hamstring)
QB Eli Manning ready for 49ers rush unit
Excerpt: "Eli Manning
has been sacked less in the first 20 quarters of the 2012 season than he was in five periods in the NFC Championship Game.
That statement indicates a) Manning absorbed too much punishment when the Giants defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 20-17, in overtime last Jan. 22 to advance to Super Bowl XLVI; b) the offensive line has improved its protection and/or Manning is releasing the ball faster this year; and c) the Giants probably need to keep Manning upright against the NFL’s second-ranked defense Sunday if they are to defeat the red-hot Niners in Candlestick Park.
Manning has been tackled attempting to pass just four times in the Giants’ first five games. He was sacked six times – and the 49ers were credited with 12 hits on him – in their last meeting.
“They have a powerful rush unit,” coach Tom Coughlin said today. “They got to the quarterback many more times than you’d like.” Read more...
Giants' Hakeem Nicks returns to practice field
Excerpt: "Running back Ahmad Bradshaw said earlier this week that he expected wide receiver Hakeem Nicks to play on Sunday against the San Francisco 49res, but no official word had come from the team. His status for Sunday would be largely determined by his availably to practice on Thursday, which had become his normal routine prior to injuring his knee. So when theNew York Giants took the field this afternoon, all eyes were on #88. And there he was … in pads, warming up and participating in the jog through.
In addition to Nicks (knee/foot), wide receiver Ramses Barden (concussion), cornerbacks Jayron Hosley (hamstring) and Corey Webster (hand/hamstring), linebackers Keith Rivers (hamstring), Chase Blackburn (hip) and Michael Boley (hip), tackle David Diehl (knee), safety Antrel Rolle (knee) and tight end Martellus Bennett (knee) were also practicing on at least a limited basis.
Meanwhile, for running back Andre Brown, he has yet to pass the baseline concussion test and was not practicing. He is likely out for Sunday's game." Read more...
Martellus Bennett plans to play Sunday against 49ers
Excerpt: "During the first quarter of Sunday's 41-27 victory over the Cleveland Browns,New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett suffered what initially looked like a devastating knee injury. However, he would eventually return to the game and the team would announce during halftime that he had suffered ahyperextended knee. Afterwards, the Black Unicorn acknowledged being in some pretty serious pain -likening it to Pandas chewing on his knee- but insisted he wouldn't miss any playing time.
After not practicing on Wednesday, Bennett remained certain that he would play this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers."That's the plan," Bennett said. "We're doing everything we can to be ready for this weekend. Working with the trainers and doing stuff on my own. The plan is to be out there on Sunday. That's always the plan. But like in anything, things don't always go according to play, but we're heading in the right direction right now." Read more...
Brandon Jacobs unhappy with his role on 49ers
Excerpt: "It was never any real secret that running back Brandon Jacobs loved New York, loved his fans and loved his role with the New York Giants. Unfortunately, business is business in the NFL, and the two parted ways over a mere $500,000. As a result, the bruising back ended up in the Bay Area, signing with the San Francisco 49ers on a one-year deal worth up to $2 million.
But grass isn't always greener on the other side, even if you're earning a little more money to be there. And after having been inactive for the first five weeks of the season, Jacobs is growing increasingly impatient with his role … or lack thereof."It would be different if things were different, put it that way," said Jacobs. "I don't have any thoughts on it."
After suffering what appeared to be a major knee injury during the preseason, it was thought that the 49ers were just being cautious with Jacobs. However, that no longer appears to be the case as the monstrous back says his knee is fine and he's feeling as healthy as ever." Read more
San Francisco 49ers' Mario Manningham excited to face his old team
Excerpt: "The New York Giants are heading out to California this weekend to take on a familiar foe in the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are not just familiar in the sense that the Giants played them twice last season, including a 20-17 victory in the NFC Championship game, but because this offseason, two key members of Big Blue's Super Bowl winning squad packed their bags and took off to the Bay Area. Needless to say, it will feel unnatural to watch Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobssuited up in red and gold on the opposing sideline on Sunday.
Despite reports from Giants cornerback Prince Amukamara thatManningham was "already talking"about this week's matchup, Manningham does not seem to be carrying a public grudge against his old teammates. The Super Bowl XLVIhero expects his former team to be come ready to play this weekend."That's a player's dream, to beat his old team.'' Manningham said. "They're going to be ready, I know how they roll over there so I know we're gonna be ready.'' Read more...
BIG BLUE VIEW
NFL Week 6 Predictions: Mikey's Crystal Ball
Excerpt: "This past Sunday, I was at the Chiefs/Ravens game, and left before the fourth quarter started. That means I did not witness fans booing Matt Cassel being sprawled out on the turf with a concussion, but I certainly wouldn't have expected that from this group of fans. I mean, it wasn't Philly or Oakland. The KC fans are passionate, yes, but that was just a horrible thing to do, no matter how disappointed you are in your QB. Regardless, here is what I took away on Sunday--that was some bad football being played on both sides. It reminded me of that Giants/Redskins game in the '70's, when I think Joe Danelo kicked a field goal to win 12-9. Hey, the Internet is a cool thing--check it out!
Okay, enough of all that jibberish--let's pick the games....
NY Giants at San Francisco--The Niners are still bitter about the NFC title game, but trust me--they are going to be tight while the G-men will be loose. Mikey will be at a wedding at precisely game time, which kind of sucks, but maybe it'll keep my blood pressure down not being able to watch. Giants 21, Niners 17" Read more...
ESPN E:60 Spotlights Justin Tuck
Excerpt: "Justin Tuck is currently playing his eight season for the New York Giants and has become one of the biggest names in New York City sports. Even in a city with a big media world, no one really seemed to know a lot about his background: Where did he come from? How was he discovered? What kind of family is he from? Tuesday night, ESPN aired an E:60 episode featuring the Giants' defensive end, during which everyone who viewed it found out all of that.
A lot of things factor into Tuck becoming the football player he's become, but he owes a lot of that to his family. Tuck is the youngest child and has five older sisters who, I guess you can say, bossed him around. As the second oldest of six kids, I know what it's like to be in a big family and how tough it makes you become." Read more...
NY Giants' news and notes: Giants talk about 49ers
Excerpt: "Good morning, New York Giants' fans! Here is your Thursday morning notebook. Today, a compilation of quotes from Giants' players on Wednesday. Full transcripts available on our 'Transcripts' page.
Jason Pierre-Paul: [Full transcript]
Q: Your coach said earlier that nobody gives you guys a chance to win. Do you guys really believe that?A: I don't know. All I know, as players and being on the Giants, we're going to go out there and fight, give all we've got. We don't care what anybody says about us, anyway. We're just going to go out there and play great football." Read more...San Francisco 49ers scouting report: More than just defense
Excerpt: "Last year the San Francisco 49ers were among the league leaders in defense (fourth in yards allowed) and special teams (with their punter and kicker getting Pro Bowl nods for special teams), but lacking on offense. In order to rectify that the 49ers spent a lot of resources on offense in the off-season. They signed wide receivers Mario Manningham and Randy Moss, running back Brandon Jacobs and then focused on offensive players early in the draft. Wide receiver A.J. Jenkins (first round), running back LaMichael James (second round), and guard Joe Looney (fourth round). Has it paid off? Let's take a look at the numbers.Offense
Category San Fran 49ers New York Giants PPG 29.3 (Tied 3rd) 30.4 (2nd) yards per game 401.2 (6th) 429.2 (2nd) Rush Yards per attempt 6.1 (1st) 4.8 (6th) Rush attempts per game 32.2 (6th) 25.2 (21st) Time of possession 32.27 (8th) 31:31 (11th) sacks allowed 12 (17th) 5 (2nd)
I didn't include passing yards per game, but the teams rank 27th (205 yards per game for the 49ers), and 3rd (309 per game) for the New York Giants." Read more...
Giants' injury report: Thirteen again an unlucky number
Excerpt: "New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin said today that he is hopeful wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has missed three straight games with foot and knee issues, will practice this week.
"It's like every other week. Hopefully, he'll get a practice in," Coughlin said.
Thirteen players are on the New York giants' Wednesday injury report for the second consecutive week. Missing practice Wednesday were:" Read more...
49ers, Giants teams different from last meeting
Excerpt: "On January 22, 2012, the New York Giants left a sour taste in the mouths of the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants advanced to the Super Bowl after defeating the 49ers in overtime of the NFC Championship game, and eventually won the Vince Lombardi Trophy in February. This weekend, the two teams face each other for the first time since that fateful meeting.
Before the big game, however, we take a step back to look at where each team was at that time and where they are now in the 2012 season.
The 49ers were coming off of a huge victory over the New Orleans Saints; their first playoff win since the 2002 season when they defeated the Giants in the wild card round. Against the Saints the week before, quarterback Alex Smith had scored four touchdowns and threw for nearly 300 yards. Their offense, however, was rather limited. The 49ers saw limited production from the wide receiver position in the post season, as the group only caught eight passes total in two playoff games. Running back Frank Gore alone caught 13 passes in that span. Part of that was due to injury, but also a lack of depth and talent at the position. Against the Giants in the NFC Championship game, the 49ers only had Michael Crabtree, Brett Swain and Kyle Williams available at wide receiver." Read more...
Giants not worried about former teammates spilling secrets
Excerpt: "Worried that former Giants turned 49ers Brandon Jacobs and Mario Manninghammight spill state secrets about what makes the Giants tick to their new teammates?
Don’t be, as even if they do, it really won’t matter if you rut the word of the current Giants.
Oh sure, the Giants are expecting both players to talk – Manningham even went so far as to say during his conference call with the New York media that he knows “what’s going on” and that he told the 49ers defensive backs a “heads up, what’s going to happen here, (and) things like that.”
But are the Giants worried?
“I think we’ll be all right,” said quarterback Eli Manning. “Everybody always talks a bit, but they’re not going to know what plays we’re running, or what we’re doing. So, I think we’ll be in good shape.” Read moe..
THE RED ZONE
Inurty Report: Nicks on the field
Excerpt: "It looks more promising that wideout Hakeem Nicks will be back on the field Sunday in San Francisco.
Nicks was in pads and participating in practice on Thursday -- at least during the portion the media were allowed to watch.
Among the six other players who sat out practice on Wednesday, LB Chase Blackburnappeared to be practicing fully, and CB Corey Webster was doing at least some work.
Tight end Martellus Bennett was doing some running on the side with the trainers, while DTRocky Bernard and S Kenny Phillips were on the exercise bikes at the start.
There was no sign of RB Andre Brown, who is still recovering from a concussion. " Read more...
Tom Coughlin knows his audience
Excerpt: "A lot of very different things have been said about the New York Giants' Tom Coughlin over the course of his long career, but you have to admit the guy knows how to coach. I mean, this business Wednesday where he somehow played the "nobody's picking us to win" card for this Sunday's game against the 49ers in San Francisco? How's a guy get away with saying "nobody's picking us" on a Wednesday? Nobody's even made their Sunday game picks by Wednesday.
Ah, but Coughlin is shrewd. He knows this no-respect thing doesn't have to be rooted in truth to work where he needs it to work. The fact that there's no legitimate proof that people don't think Coughlin's defending Super Bowl champs are a good team is a minor and irrelevant detail. You can say anything you want, and in this case Coughlin knows the precise effect his outlandish claim Wednesday will have.
He knows the people who cover the team will go to every single Giants player they can find and ask them what they think about this outrageous lack of respect the world supposedly has for their roster and its accomplishments. He knows this becomes the dominant story of the week in his locker room. And although it might not get the headlines that Mark Sanchez,Tim Tebow and Raul Ibanez are getting in New York today, that doesn't matter. It will work where he needs it to work -- in the heads and hearts of his players. " Read more...
Tom Coughlin: Giants are underdogs
Excerpt: "Tom Coughlin and the New York Giants have seen the eye-popping numbers the San Francisco 49ers have put up recently.
And Coughlin believes that not many are giving the defending world champions a chance to win an NFC Championship Game rematch in San Francisco on Sunday.
"Nobody gives us a chance to win," Coughlin said when asked about how many consider the 49ers a favorite to win the NFC. "We'll see."
When asked to elaborate, Coughlin said, "I just sense it."
"Why do I think they feel that way? Probably because [people] think that the other team is playing very well," he said.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh replied, "Yeah, I think that is probably an exaggeration." Read more...
PFT's Week Six Picks
Excerpt: "Last week, the “mild” concussion to RG3 prevented me from taking a “major” lead over MDS in the picks contest.
Robert Griffin III exited, the Redskins lost, and what would have been a two-game win for the week turned into a push, with both of us going 10-4.
This week, Robert Griffin III is back, and his team’s game against the Vikings once again will decide whether someone gets a two-game swing, or whether we tie once again.
For the year, there’s still no tie. I’m leading the way at 49-28, and MDS is 47-30.
Giants at 49ers
MDS’s take: Tom Coughlin says no one is giving his team a chance in this game. I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say the Giants don’t have a chance, but I would say the way the 49ers have played the last couple weeks, on both sides of the ball, I have a hard time seeing the Giants’ path to a win.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 31, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: This is precisely the kind of game the Giants ordinarily win. And if they hadn’t won in San Francisco in January en route to a Super Bowl victory, the Giants would win. No amount of Rodney Dangerfield cliches from coach Tom Coughlin will overcome the fact that the 49ers are hungrier and, for now, better. There’s a chance it will get ugly.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 31, Giants 24." Read more...
Martellus Bennett one of seven Giants not practicing today
Excerpt: "All those people that Tom Coughlin believes are picking against the Giants this weekend may feel more secure about their decision after a look at the team’s practice report from Wednesday.
Seven Giants missed the session, including tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett left Sunday’s win over the Browns a couple of times with a knee injury, but returned to finish the game. Bennett told reporters, including Ralph Vacchiano of theNew York Daily News, that he “messed some s— up” in his knee in that game. He hopes to be able to play against the 49ers, but isn’t sure whether the messed up s— will resolve itself in time to allow that to happen." Read more...