Thursday, January 19, 2012

NFC Championship: Giants Red Hot, Just How 49ers Want Them To Be

The 49ers have made a living this season playing (and beating) teams who came in with the infamous "playing their best football of the season" label.   Below are some glaring examples; ominous signs for Giants fans playing the "We're as hot as ever.  We can't be beat!" card.

  • Week 5 vs. a Tampa Bay Bucs team sporting a 3-1 record, coming off 3 straight wins.  Sure, Captain Hindsight will quickly state that the Bucs finished the season 4-12.  However, many talking heads and media pundits had the Bucs winning this game or at least called this a 'toss-up' contest.  Final score:  49ers 48, Bucs 3. 

  • Week 6 vs. an undefeated Detroit Lions squad coming off 5 straight wins (9 straight going back to the previous season), averaging 32 ppg over that stretch. Final score: 49ers 25, Lions 19 (in Ford Field)

  • Week 10 vs. a 6-2 New York Football Giants team entering with 3 straight W's (6 of their last 7), riding the highs of an epic last drive road victory in New England (first team to defeat a Brady-led Pats team in a regular season contest in Gillette Stadium in 31 games).    Final score.  49ers 27, Giants 20. 

  • Week 15 vs. a Pittsburgh Steelers team who seemingly had 'turned it around and were finally getting in rhythm after a slow start', on a 4 game winning streak (victories in 8 of their last 9 games).  Final score: 49ers 20, Steelers 3.  

  • Week 16 vs. a Seattle Seahawks team riding a 3 game winning streak (5-1 over their last 6, outscoring their opponents 162-88 over that stretch; with an average margin of victory of over 16 points). This game was also played in Seattle, one of the toughest home field advantages in the entire NFL.  Final score:  49ers 21, Seahawks 19.

  •  And then of course, last week's instant classic Divisional Playoff battle in Candlestick Park vs. a New Orleans Saints team who last suffered a defeat on October 30th (!!), putting together a 9 game winning streak outscoring their opponents by more than 17 points in each contest, installed as a 3.5 point road favorite.  Final score:  49ers 36, Saints 32. 

Coincidence?  Luck?   Even with a 14-3 record after 17 games?  

On Sunday, the Giants will not be playing against a team who's "on a red hot streak of games" and "playing their best football of the season". 

They'll be playing the San Francisco 49ers.  The NFC's most complete football team; a 'trend' that has remained CONSISTENT since Week 1, while the football world refused to pay attention.


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