Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Giants Vs. 49ers Preview: Numbers, Connections and History Behind the Rivalry

Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

The San Francisco 49ers go up against the New York Giants on Sunday in it what will be the biggest game of the week and the most anticipated game on the Niners regular-season schedule.  There has been a lot of trash talk this week not only between the players, but also between the coaches.  The last time the two teams met was earlier this year in the NFC Championship, with the 49ers losing 20-17.  On Sunday the 49ers have a chance to revenge the loss and show the defending Super Bowl champions they are the better team this season.  In the last regular-season game (November 13, 2011) the 49ers won 27-20 after defensive end Justin Smith batted down an Eli Manning pass on 4th down with 34 seconds left.  Sunday will mark the last of three straight games against teams from New York State.

New York Giants (3-2) vs. San Francisco 49ers (4-1)

Location: Candlestick Park, grass, outdoor stadium

Kickoff: Sunday, 1:25 p.m. PT 4:25 p.m. ET

Spread: 49ers by 6.5

Forecast: Mild, partly cloudy with high of 69 and a low of 54

The Rivalry

Matchups: 36

Series Record: Tied 18-18

49ers Home Record vs. Giants: 49ers lead series 11-8

49ers Away Record vs. Giants: Giants lead series 10-7

First Meeting: 11/09/52, Giants win 23-14, at NY

Last Meeting: 1/22/12, Giants win 20-17 (OT), at SF (NFC-C)

Current Streak: Lost 1

Longest 49ers Win Streak: 6 (9/6/92 – 1/5/03)

Longest Giants Win Streak: 5 (10/15/72 – 10/14/79)

Most 49ers Points: 44 (1/15/94), 44-3, at SF

Most Giants Points: 49 (1/4/87), 49-3, at NY

49ers Shutouts: 1 (11/23/80), 49ers win 12-0, at SF

Giants Shutouts: None

Here is a look back at the 49ers vs. Giants best playoff games in their rivalry:

NFC Divisional Playoff, 1981:

49ers 38 Giants 24

The divisional round playoff game had many firsts.  It was the start of the 49ers-Giants rivalry, the first time the Giants had made the playoffs since 1963 and it was Joe Montana’s first playoff game and first playoff victory for the 49ers.  The 49ers would go on to win their first Super Bowl after beating the Cowboys in the NFC Championship game that featured “The Catch”.

NFC Divisional Playoff, 1984:

49ers 21 Giants 10

All the scoring in the game was done in the first half with 31 points put up by the Giants and 49ers.  Montana had three touchdowns and 309 yards against the Giants en route to their second Super Bowl championship.

NFC Wild Card, 1985:

49ers 3 Giants 17

Third time was a charm for the Giants as they finally beat the 49ers after losing the previous two playoff matchups.  The 49ers were able to run up 362 yards of offense against the Giants defense led by Lawrence Taylor however the team only scored one field goal.  The Giants would lose in the next round to the Bears.

NFC Divisional Playoff, 1986:

49ers 3 Giants 49

In the rout the 49ers were held touchdown less for the second straight playoff game against the Giants.   The 49ers were out of the game by halftime down 28-3.  Joe Montana was knocked out of the game in the second quarter which explained why the 49ers only had 155 passing yards and three interceptions.  The Giants went on to win their second Super Bowl championship over the Denver Broncos.

NFC Championship Game, 1990:

49ers 13 Giants 15

The NFC Championship game is remembered for many reasons, all of them bad for the 49ers.  The 49ers did not allow the Giants to score a touchdown but they were able to kick five field goals which were enough to beat the 49ers.  The loss ended the 49ers chances of a Super Bowl three-peat, a feat no team still has not accomplished in the NFL.  But the most memorable moment of the game, for Niner fans not so much, was the hit by Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall that knocked Joe Montana out of the game with over nine minutes left to play.  Montana would only play one more game with the 49ers after the injury.  The Giants went on to beat the Bills for their second Super Bowl championship.

NFC Wild Card Game, 2003:

49ers 39 Giants 38

The wild card game was one of the best in 49ers-Giants history.  Late into the third quarter the Giants were up 38-14.  At the time I remember almost not watching the rest of the game as my brother talked nothing but trash as the Giants seemed on their way to a victory.  I held out hope even though the Giants defense was one of the best in the NFL at the time.  After the 49ers scored to make the game 38-22, I remember Michael Strahan taunting the 49ers by pointing to the scoreboard.  As the Giants defense got comfortable with the lead the 49ers offense scored 25 unanswered points with two fast touchdowns, two two-point conversions and a field goal in the fourth quarter cutting the lead to 38-33.

Does anyone remember wider receiver Tai Streets?  The only reason I do is because of his big touchdown catch in the fourth quarter that put the 49ers in the lead 39-38.  It was the only real contribution Streets made while he was with the 49ers but he will go down in history as the one who scored the winning touchdown.

Of course, even with erasing a 25-point deficit the Giants gave the 49ers one last scare on the last play of the game.  Giants QB Kerry Collins drove the offense down the field to the 49ers 23-yard line with six seconds left in the game.  At that point both my brother and I were silent as the Giants setup for the field goal to win the game.  I remember looking away as the football was snapped not wanting to see what I thought was the inevitable.  Instead I heard my brother yell as the Giants long snapper released a bad snap.  As I turned around the Giants placekick holder attempted a pass which landed incomplete.  A Giants lineman was downfield ready for the catch but a 49ers player knocked him over.  A flag was thrown and it seemed like pass interference was going to be called however instead the Giants were called for an illegal man downfield and the game ended.  As I jumped and yelled in celebration my brother cursed and was complaining the Giants lineman was an eligible receiver.  Eligible or not the 49ers came away with a win that will go down as one of the greatest games in franchise history.

NFC Championship Game, 2012

49ers 17 Giants 20

*Sigh* Do we need to rehash this? Kyle Williams fumbled a punt.  The Giants won.  And the Super Bowl was really hard to watch.

 

The Numbers

  • 48: Total tackles Patrick Willis has in 4 games vs. the Giants.
  • 621: The 49ers offense amassed 621 net yards against the Bills last week.
  • 49.1: The 49ers have scored on 49.1 pct. of their possessions this season, ranking 2nd in the NFL (New York Giants – 51.8 pct.)
  • 17: QB Alex Smith has registered 17 wins since the start of the 2011 season, ranking 1st in the NFL for the most wins in that time span.
  • 6.9: The 49ers offense has averaged 6.9 yards on first down this season ranking 2nd in the NFL.
  • 13.6: Average points per game given up by the 49ers defense, ranking 1st in NFL.
  • 300:  49ers offense had over 300 yards passing and 300 yards rushing in the win over the Bills last week, which was the first time this was accomplished in NFL history.
  • 81: 49ers have outscored opponents 149-68 this season, giving them a +81 scoring differential, which ranks 1st in the NFL.
  • 60:  49ers offense has gained 4-or-more yards on 60% of their plays on 1st down.
  • 8:  Number of runs of 20 yards or more by the 49ers offense.
  • 22.2: Niners D has allowed opponents to score on just 22.2% of their possessions.  
  • 3:  Number of points the defense has allowed off of turnovers.  The fewest allowed in the NFL.
  • 151: Career points David Akers has against the Giants.
  • 30.4: Average points per game scored by Giants offense
  • 429.2: Average total yards per game by the Giants offense
  • 243: Total rushing yards by the Giants offense last week against the Browns.

 

The Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and Giants running backs coach Jerald Ingram were teammates at the University of Michigan while New York Giants linebackers coach Jim Hermann was on the Wolverine coaching staff in 1983.
  • 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely was on the New England Patriots staff from 2001-08, coaching the Patriots special teams while Giants assistant special teams coach Larry Izzo was a linebacker for the Patriots.
  • 49ers offensive line coach Tim Drevno coached the offensive line at San Jose State in 1999 while Giants special teams coordinator Tom Quinn was the linebackers/tight ends/special teams coach for the Spartans.  Quinn coached at Stanford from 2002-05.
  • 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman is from Ventnor N.J.
  • 49ers assistant secondary coach Greg Jackson was a safety for the New York Giants from 1989-93.
  • 49ers LB Patrick Willis was teammates with Giants QB Eli Manning in 2003 at Ole Miss.
  • 49ers WR Mario Manningham and Giants DB Stevie Brown both played at Michigan from 2005-07.
  • 49ers C Jonathan Goodwin and Giants C David Baas were teammates at Michigan in 2001.
  • 49ers RB Frank Gore played with Giants S Antrel Rolle at the University of Miami (FL) from 2001-04.
  • 49ers LB Tavares Gooden and Giants S Kenny Phillips both played at the University of Miami (FL) from 2005-07.
  • 49ers T Anthony Davis was born and raised in Piscataway, NJ, and attended Piscataway HS before starring collegiately at Rutgers.
  • Giants C David Baas was drafted by the 49ers in the 2nd round (33rd overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft and played 6 seasons with San Francisco, from 2005-10.
  • Giants QB David Carr played for the 49ers in 2010.
  • Giants TE Bear Pascoe was originally a 6th round (184th overall) draft choice by the 49ers in 2009.
  • Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw played at Marshall with 49ers S C.J. Spillman from 2005-06.

 

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