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NEWARK STAR LEDGER
NFL Kickoff: Week 6 Buzz, headlines, and picks
Excerpt: "Here's a look at the top storylines and big matchups from around the nation as we near kickoff on another Sunday of NFL football:
In a rematch of last year's NFC Championship game, the Giants travel to San Francisco Sunday to take on the 49ers. The revenge factor should provide the 49ers with plenty of motivation, while the Giants will be out to prove that their Super Bowl berth was no fluke.
CBSSports.com Senior NFL Columnist Clark Judge writes that Sunday's rematch gives the 49ers an opportunity to prove something not only to the Giants, but also to the rest of the NFL:
It's San Francisco's chance to prove that it is the best team out there, period.
I know I haven't seen anyone better. Granted, the 49ers lost at Minnesota. It happens. Sometimes you take one step back to go two steps forward, and all I know is that after that loss the 49ers outscored their next two opponents 79-3 and have the attention of Giants coach Tom Coughlin.
As for the Giants, they're embracing the role of underdog. Head coach Tom Coughlin has the defending champs using the lack of respect as motivation: (via NJ.com)
"Nobody gives us a chance to win," Coughlin said. "We’ll see."
Giants wide receiver Domenik Hixon expressed similar sentiments:
“You kind of expect it,” he said. “We’ve heard, ‘You’re lucky you won the Super Bowl,’ to other things for last year, which is fine. None of that matters come Sunday.”
Watch video of Fox Sports senior NFL writer Alex Marvez breaking down the 49ers-Giants matchup below:" Read more...Giants' Gameday: Giants (3-2) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
The Big Buzz: Battle by the Bay
Excerpt: "3 MATCHUPS TO WATCH
1. Victor Cruz vs. Carlos Rogers
Since his emergence last season, Victor Cruz has attracted plenty of public shots from opponents. The first can be traced to Week 10 in San Francisco. That was when Carlos Rogers intercepted an Eli Manning pass intended for Cruz and proceeded to perform his own rendition of the salsa. The 49ers went on to win, but Cruz exacted revenge in the NFC Championship game. By halftime, Cruz had eight catches for 125 yards — almost entirely in single coverage against Rogers in the slot. The 49ers sent Rogers help in the second half and Cruz finished with 10 receptions for 142 yards in the Giants’ win. Cruz expects to face Rogers for much of today’s game. The question now is will Rogers perform the salsa again? Early in the week, he said if he makes a big play he would. But he backed off later in the week when he was told the dance honors Cruz’s now-late grandmother. We shall see." Read more...
Eli Manning has become a master at making adjustments for Giants
Excerpt: "The play was not in the Giants’ game plan for the NFC Championship round, at least not in the form that it was run. Nor had they practiced it the week before the game.
But without Eli Manning’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham at Candlestick Park last January, the Giants may never have made Super Bowl XLVI history.
“I drew it up on the sidelines,” offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride recalled proudly last week.
Then he trusted Manning to do the rest: Make the correct read, fire a perfect throw and convert a third-and-15 into a fourth-quarter lead in an elimination contest against the Niners that the Giants would go on to win in overtime." Read more...
Giants' Mark Herzlich has special connection to Tom Coughlin's Jay Fund charity
Excerpt: "For Mark Herzlich, the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund's eighth annual Champions for Children Gala in Manhattan had a little different meaning than for most.
Herzlich went to Boston College, where Jay McGillis, a safety, played under Tom Coughlin in the early 1990s. As soon as he arrived at the school in Chestnut Hill, Mass. he heard the stories about McGillis' valiant eight-month fight with leukemia before dying in 1992.
And when Herzlich himself was diagnosed with cancer – Ewing's sarcoma -- following his junior season, the connection deepened and their stories similar.
"When I was diagnosed with cancer, I realized what it meant to have a team, a community, a coach have my back and have that support and that's something that Jay felt as well," Herzlich said as Giants teammates and coaches filed in for the event. "I think that I won my battle with cancer and that has to do because maybe it was 10, 15 years later. The medicine was better, but Jay battled and had that fight in him as well. It's nice just in honor of him and it's really because of him and his fight and his family and his coach that this is all happening." Read more...
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.
49ers QB evolves from bust to NFL's top rated passer
Excerpt: "Alex Smith can still remember, even if he tries to avoid doing so.
It was about this time two years ago that Smith, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, walked off the.
Candlestick Park field after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and heard a rowdy crowd calling for his head.
"We want Carr!" rose from the belly of the Stadium, a reference to then Niners backup David Carr.
"Seems like a long time ago, longer than two years ago for sure," Smith said. "Yeah, a long time ago, it seems like."
Giants out to flash their Super Bowl rings in rematch with mighty San Francisco 49ers
Excerpt: "The San Francisco 49ers have been waiting for this, ever since Lawrence Tynes' overtime field goal sailed through the uprights in overtime of last season's NFC Championship Game. It was a game they said they let "slip through our fingers." It was a Super Bowl trip they felt "we should have had."
They seem perfectly primed for revenge too after dismantling their opponents the last two weeks. They roll into this game having beaten the Jets and Bills by a combined score of 79-3, looking dominant enough to convince everyone they're one of the best teams in the NFC."
They are," said Giants left tackle Will Beatty. "But they haven't played us yet." Read more...
War of words between Giants and 49ers now a battle for respect by the Bay
Excerpt: "Victor Cruz was handed a piece of paper last week with the quote from 49ers safety Donte Whitner over the summer that added him to the group of players who have discredited the Giants amazing Super Bowl run last season.
Whitner had listed the Saints and Packers as the 49ers’ main competition in the playoffs and once the Niners beat New Orleans and the Giants beat Green Bay, he felt the NFC title game was “ours to lose.”
That’s what happened. They lost.
The Giants have enormous pride, and by now, they are tired of hearing from Clay Matthews, Whitner and others about how the wrong team won the Super Bowl. Earlier in the offseason, Whitner said he felt the 49ers outplayed the Giants in the NFL Championship Game and would have beaten the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
“The best team won the Super Bowl last year,” Cruz said. “I have my ring at home to prove it.”
Playbook: 49ers eager for a Giants' rematch
Excerpt: "At CANDLESTICK PARK
WHEN: 4:25 p.m.
LINE: 49ers by 6
TV: Ch. 5 (Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman)
RADIO: WFAN-660 AM (Bob Papa, Carl Banks), Nationwide on Compass Media Networks (Chris Carrino, Brian Baldinger)
FORECAST: Partly sunny, high 60s, calm winds.
GIANTS TEAM STATS
49ERS TEAM STATS
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RB Frank Gore vs. MLB Chase Blackburn and Giants run defense
The 49ers' running game is the best in the league (195.8 ypg, 6.1 ypc), allowing QB Alex Smith to pick his spots and avoid tough throws. It's straight power and it accomplishes the dual purpose of slowing down the Giants' biggest strength up front, their pass rush. Gore, who is spelled by Kevin Hunter, is a relentless downhill runner with great vision and cutback ability who utilizes his zone blocking very well." Read more...
THE NEW YORK POST.
Big Blue aim to cool red-hot San-Fran in rematch
Excerpt: "Here we are again, the Giants on the road for a game they cannot win. Or probably cannot win. Or might not win. Or won’t lose.
It goes round and round with these Giants, who under coach Tom Coughlin have often been at their best in such potentially daunting situations. At New England last season. At Pittsburgh in 2008. At everywhere in the 2007 playoffs. Most of the truly memorable moments in fashioning two Super Bowl triumphs have come in hostile territory, including last January’s epic 20-17 overtime victory at Candlestick Park in the NFC Championship." Read more...
Jacquian Williams hopes history repeats itself
Excerpt: "Jacquian Williams says he is not quite sure how he will feel walking onto the field today at Candlestick Park, site of his game-changing play in last year’s NFC Championship.
“I’m curious now how I will feel going out there understanding what took place there my rookie year,’’ Williams said.
It was Williams who reached out and forced a fumble on punt returner Kyle Williams to provide the Giants with the momentum-swing needed in the overtime classic. The Giants got the ball on the 49ers’ 24-yard line and before long Lawrence Tynes was kicking them into Super Bowl XLVI." Read more...
Eli it too tough to rough up
Excerpt: "he 49ers kept coming at Eli Manning, the last quarterback standing between them and the Super Bowl. They kept beating him up and knocking him down, and he kept getting up, kept trying to win the game.
All of a sudden, No. 10 might as well have been wearing No. 11, might as well have been Phil Simms facemask-to-facemask with Ronnie Lott, and no one will be surprised today if Manning, without having to utter a single word, sends his defiant “Go ahead, make my day” message to the 49ers predators lusting for payback.
Manning, standing in there the way he did in that vicious NFC Championship game, taking a licking and keeping on ticking, was all the evidence you needed that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, because father Archie was subjected to a career of these kind of beatings, mostly with the Saints.
“Go back and watch the game — you don’t need me to tell you an example. ... It’s like 95 of ’em,” Justin Tuck said.
One stood out.
“It was a play where I saw him get up, and literally had to wipe mud out of his facemask.” Tuck chuckled, and added, “As he was walking back to the line of scrimmage, one of the O-linemen fixed his jersey and put the pads back in his jersey, kinda straightened out his mouthpiece and went right back in the huddle, and I think the next play he completed like this third-and-8 pass for a first down to keep the drive moving. That’s one of the memories that I have of that game.” Read more...
THE BERGEN RECORD
Giants' Matchup: 49ers have a good memory
Excerpt: "At Candlestick Park, Today, 4:25 p.m.; TV: Ch. 5; Radio: WFAN-AM 660; Line: 49ers by 6 1/2[
What’s at stake
Giants: A telling three-game gauntlet that includes consecutive NFC East games begins at the place where last season’s team experienced one of its biggest thrills. The Giants are one of the NFC’s best teams on paper, and this is another chance to show that potential can translate to the field following their Super Bowl-winning campaign of a year ago.
49ers: San Francisco feels as if it gave away a chance at the Super Bowl with a pair of crucial turnovers by Kyle Wilson in the Giants’ 20-17 overtime victory in last year’s NFC title game. Some players have suggested the Giants are wearing San Francisco’s rings, which does not sit well on the other side. The 49ers appear to be significantly more diverse on offense this season after splitting two games on their home field with the eventual Super Bowl champs. Former Giants Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs will get the opportunity to reunite with their ex-teammates, but only Manningham is a lock to play as Jacobs (knee) likely will be a game-time decision." Read more...
NEW YORK TIMES
Matchup: Giants (3-2) @ Niners (4-1)
Excerpt: "MATCHUP to watch
49ers’ Aldon Smith vs. Giants’ offensive line
Eli Manning was knocked down often in the last meeting between these teams, and containing Smith will be the key if the Giants hope to avoid a similarly difficult day for Manning. Smith is a consistent threat on the edge and leads the 49ers with four and a half sacks this season." Read more...
Giants' Osi Umenyiora opens up and looks beyond the next sack
Excerpt: "One day last week, the Giants’ defensive linemen were discussing money in their meeting room at the team’s training center. Several players had watched a television documentary about seemingly flush athletes going broke after their careers ended, and a casual conversation quickly turned more passionate.SITE LINK
At one point, defensive tackle Marvin Austin recalled, it was as if Osi Umenyiora were in church. Umenyiora, a veteran defensive end, was confessor and preacher — first telling his teammates about all the mistakes he had made over the years, then imploring them to listen closely so they would never suffer the same fate. Umenyiora locked eyes with Austin, a second-year player, to emphasize his point; he turned to be sure the young star Jason Pierre-Paul could hear him." Read more...
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Michael Strahan holds one hour private meeting with D line
Excerpt: "Defensive end and future NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan may have retired following the 2007 season, but he's made himself no stranger to the team over the last five years. And no, not just because he's had a sitcom and hosted several television shows since then, but because he often makes it a point to show his face around the Timex Performance Center and/or MetLife Stadium.
As the New York Giants prepared for a cross-country trip to California where they'll take on the San Francisco 49ers in week six, Strahan made one of his annual appearances. And although it was FOX Sports that likely sent him on this journey for a FOX NFL Sunday segment, Strahan took advantage of the trip and held a private one hour meeting with Big Blue's defensive line." Read more...
Giants vs 49ers: Insider Report
Excerpt: "Like we've been doing this season, we reached out to the guys over at49ers101.com in advance of the big matchup between NFC powerhouses. As the New York Giants roll west to face the San Francisco 49ers, let's hear what Mark Ortiz over at 49ers101.com has to say about this week's matchup.
We've seen our Giants start to get something going in the running game…but is going up against a unit like the 49ers front seven a lost cause?
In all the 49ers wins, the opponent has given up on the run. But in the loss to the Vikings, the Vikings continued to pound the ball on the ground. Their commitment to run opened up the entire offense. They had the 49ers linebackers biting on nearly every play action pass thanks to their commitment. The Giants should stick with the run, in the long run it will pay off. Maybe not the first quarter or first half, but they will see dividends later in the game.That's probably music to the ears of Giants fans, who have been known to criticize Tom Coughlin and Kevin Gilbride's commitment to the run, even when it's clearly not working. We'll see if we can remember this one if Ahmad Bradshaw is running into brick walls in the first half." Read more...
Giants' Eli Manning's once criticized demeanor now looked at as a warrior mentality
Excerpt: "The eyes of a diehard New York Giants fan don’t lie. Quarterback Eli Manningis just about where he should be. Most forget he’s human and does err. Abhorrence, jealousy and fear cloud others true analysis of him. It doesn’t seem to affect the veteran who is in his 9th season and that, perhaps, is one of his strongest qualities.
In January of this year, during the NFC Championship game, the captain of the Giants’ offense was attacked in every possible way by the San Francisco 49ers defense that sacked him six times and hit him relentlessly. The game was no doubt the definition of a throwback slobber-knocker.
''That was a tremendous football game for those that really enjoyfootball at its very basic element,'' said coach Tom Coughlin. ''Just a classic football game that just seemed like no one was going to put themselves into position to win it. Fortunately, we were able to do that.'' Read more...SITE LINK
BIG BLUE VIEW
Giants vs. 49ers Gameday: Everything you need to know
Excerpt: "Here is a complete preview of Sunday's Giants-49ers game. Follow our StoryStream for full in-game coverage, and visit the Game Hubfor complete pre-game, in-game and post-game coverage." Read more...
NY Giants' news and ntoes: Giants vs. 49ers preview edition
Excerpt: "Good morning, New York Giants' fans! Here is your Sunday morning notebook." Read more...
THE RED ZONE
Peter King's Week 6 Picks
Excerpt: "New York Giants (3-2) at San Francisco 49ers (4-1)
Eli Manning's 24-5 in October, and anyone who thinks that can't continue against the hottest team in football is nuts. I watched Manning in Candlestick last January play as well as a battered quarterback could play, keeping the Giants in a game they had no business winning -- and though I like the Niners here, I don't think it'll be a rout. San Francisco has too many weapons for a battered secondary to shut down. This time, it won't come down to a muffed punt.
Niners 24 Giants 17
Stock Watch: O Line up
Excerpt: "Before we get to the NFC title game rematch, let's take a look at who's streaking and who's slumping a bit heading into the game.
As you guys know, I'm an old-school music fan and name my categories after songs.
In honor of being back in California, we'll go with some West Coast rap for this week -- Ice Cube for streaking and Tupac for slumping.
"IT WAS A GOOD DAY" (streaking)
Ahmad Bradshaw: Bradshaw tops the list with a career-high 200 yards rushing against Cleveland. He won't find the same room against San Francisco's defense. But he is running hard and even 70-80 yards would be beneficial for the Giants on Sunday.
Offensive line: The line not only opened huge holes for Bradshaw -- rookie David Wilsonalso scored his first career touchdown on a 40-yard run. And the Giants' line protected Eli Manning yet again. Manning has only been sacked once since going down three times against Dallas in the season opener. David Diehl likely will be available on Sunday since he made the trip to SF.
Victor Cruz: Three salsas in one game means Cruz is on fire. And now he faces Carlos Rogers and the Niners. Cruz had 10 receptions for 142 yards in the NFC Championship Game against Rogers. By halftime, Cruz had eight catches for 125 yards." Read more...
Coach's Big Decision: Contain Davis
Excerpt: "Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Thursday he likes linebacker Jacquain Williams’ ability to match up with San Francisco 49ers elite tight endVernon Davis.
But when asked about covering Davis on Friday, Williams responded, “that’s not my role.”
Regardless, the key to a Giants’ victory this Sunday in San Francisco will likely be containing (since you can’t stop) Davis -- and it’s up to Fewell to figure out how to do so.
In last season’s NFC title game, Davis torched the Giants for 112 yards and two touchdowns, but Big Blue was still able to prevail. The 28-year-old is coming off a season-high 106-yard receiving effort against the Buffalo Bills last week.
The Giants have had success covering tight ends in 2012. Only Carolina’s Greg Olsen has gone off -- snagging seven passes for 98 yards in Week 3." Read more...
Report: RGIII will start