The upcoming NFC Championship showdown between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers will not be pretty.
According to Giants players, Sunday’s matchup will resemble anything from a "dogfight" to an outright "bloodbath."
"They’re a tough team, very solid and disciplined in what they do," Giants fullback Henry Hynoski told the New York Post. "But you know what? So are we. We’re ready for it. It’s gonna be a dogfight."
But Hynoski’s "dogfight" reference for Sunday’s championship game at Candlestick Park might be tame. From the sound of it, the Giants are preparing more for a steel-cage match than a football game to decide which team will represent the conference in Super Bowl XLVI.
"This is not going to be a cute football game," defensive tackle Chris Canty said. "It’s not going to be for the meek and mild. This is going to be a bloodbath."
The Giants lost to San Francisco 27-20 on Nov. 13, in a game they swore they should have won. Still, New York came away impressed that all the talk about San Francisco’s punch was legitimate.
Twice, the Giants had to settle for Lawrence Tynes’ field goals after promising drives stalled against a Niners defense that allowed just three rushing touchdowns all season — two of which came in the regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.
"After the last time we played them, we walked away saying that’s a very physical team and the only way to beat them is to out-physical them," guard Chris Snee said.
There’s no doubt the 49ers were the tougher outfit in last week’s 36-32 Divisional win over the New Orleans Saints.
Safety Donte Whitner, with a legal helmet-to-helmet blow, knocked Saints running back Pierre Thomas out of the game in the first quarter, making him the seventh running back unable to finish a game against the 49ers’ defense this season.
"The team that’s more physical and is tougher is going to win this game," Giants defensive end Dave Tollefson told the Post. "I don’t think that’s a light-bulb moment. I think everyone knows it."