I'm not a big fan of the 49ers, but the wound from last week's loss is still raw and I can't root for the Giants. So I'm hoping the 49ers win. But will they?
The Giants are the most frustrating team to predict. After being outscored during the regular season (394 points scored vs. 400 points allowed) and only beating one playoff bound team during the regular season (24-20 over the Patriots), they've won their first two playoff games by comfortable margins. They remind me of a couple of recent teams.
The 2003 Panthers. Despite an 11-5 regular season record, they were only the 17th best team according to Football Outsiders. It wasn't surprising to see them beat the Cowboys at home, but then they went on the road to beat the Rams and Eagles.
The 2008 Cardinals. They were helped by the fact that the defending Super Bowl champs and top seed (Giants) got bounced in the divisional round. I didn't expect the Cardinals would win a single playoff game. Instead they made a run to the Super Bowl, and were a James Harrison pick-six away from winning it all.
Back on November 13th, the Giants lost in San Francisco by a score of 27-20. But it showed how they can win this game. They have to win the turnover battle, which has been one of the secrets to their success (one turnover in their two wins). And, just as they focused on beating Finley last week, they have to do the same to Vernon Davis, who crushed the Saints last week and had a 31 yard touchdown catch in their earlier meeting.
Still, I expect the 49ers to win. However, with the way I've been picking games so far, I guess that means the Giants will win.