The 49ers and Giants squared off two months ago in a Week 10 contest that had its own fairly thrilling finish. Eli Manning and the Giants were driving down the field and had a 2nd and 2 at the 49ers ten yard line before Justin Smith eventually batted down a fourth down pass to claim the victory.
One of the big storylines heading into the week ten contest were some comments regarding Alex Smith's abilities as a quarterback. The Giants loaded up the box against Frank Gore and the rushing attack, and the 49ers countered by opening up the passing attack. Although Alex Smith's 30 passes were not a huge total, he opened the game firing away. On the first drive, Smith completed six of nine passes and Frank Gore rushed twice. For the game, Gore, Hunter and Dixon combined for only 14 carries.
Given Smith's performance last week combined with his work against the Giants in week ten, how different will the Giants approach Alex Smith and the 49ers? After that first game, Frank Gore and Greg Roman both commented about how the Giants went to extreme measures to shut down the run. They did a solid enough job on that, but the 49ers made them pay in the passing game.
How will the Giants game-plan this time around now that Alex Smith isn't just the usual game manager they anticipated two months ago? Part of this will depend on the play-calling. There were stretches where we didn't know what was going on with the play-calling (Frank Gore throwback to Smith?). And then there were moments where the 49ers could do no wrong (last two scoring drives). How the Giants defense comes out against the 49ers and how the 49ers play-calling comes out against the Giants will be intriguing to watch.