By Malaika Bobino
It has been a decade since the Forty-Niners played in the NFC Championship game, and this weekend they will host the New York Giants.
The last time these two teams met was during the regular season, and the Giants lost 27-20. San Francisco rallied late in the fourth quarter when Justin Smith deflected Eli Manning’s pass on fourth down to seal the victory.
“We like our chances in a rematch,” Giants running back D.J. Ware said after the game. “We just have to wait until that day comes.”
Well, it came sooner than later, when the Green Bay Packers lost 37-20 at Lambeau Field last Sunday to New York. The last time the 49ers played in the NFC Championship was in 2002 when Jeff Garcia led his team back from a 24-deficit to win over the Giants. It was one of the greatest comebacks in playoff history.
“I can definitely say we get better with each opponent –we never make the same mistake twice,” Dason Goldson said. “We’re a smart football team playing good football.”
After the amazing win over the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco has proven they deserve to be right where they are, in the playoffs. Years of frustration and defeat are now behind them.
“We feel good about this opportunity,” said Carlos Rogers. “One more game to get to that Bowl.”
The stakes are high, and the quest for a trip to Indianapolis is within reach. It has been 17 seasons since the 49ers won their fifth and most recent Super Bowl. A sixth Lombardi Trophy will match the Pittsburgh Steeler’s record collection.
“We have to use the same strategy as before, create turnovers, pressure Manning and depend on David Akers to score if the offense stalls,” Rogers said.