Outside of the NFC East, the Giants’ 2012 slate includes four opponents they faced last season, including the postseason. Of those, the 49ers are the first on the rematch trail as the Giants this week travel to the site of their historic NFC Championship, nearly nine months after their victory.
Thrilling would be one way to describe that night. Eli Manning, who bounced back up each of the 12 times he was knocked down, has another word for the Jan. 22 meeting in which the Giants won, 20-17, in overtime.
“Just that it was tough,” Manning said Monday during his weekly spot on WFAN with Mike Francesa. “Their defense is good and they do a great job of getting pressure, getting to the quarterback, and still play coverage behind it. They mix up their coverages. They disguise things real well. It was one of those games hopefully you get a couple opportunities to hit some big plays. We were able to take advantage of that, but they’re going to make plays also. You can’t force things. You can’t get into a situation trying to do too much when they get a good pressure or they fool you on a blitz. You’ve just got to be smart and kind of take your medicine sometimes.”
Dropping back 58 times to pass, Manning and his teammates never turned the ball over against a 49ers defense that had led the NFL in takeaways and turnover margin. But 2012 is a whole new year.
“It should be a great matchup,” Manning said. “They’re playing great football. Their defense has played outstanding all year. Their offense is getting hot. They’re running the ball. [49ers quarterback] Alex Smith is playing well, and they’ve got some receivers that are making plays and getting open. So they’re really clicking right now and playing great. Offensively, we have to be well prepared and be able to matchup against their talented front seven. Also we have to hopefully run the ball successfully and we’ve got to pass protect. It’s one of those games where you can’t afford to have mistakes.”
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Tags: Eli Manning
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