NFL: Why the NFC Title Game with the Giants vs. 49ers Is Going to Make History

Hugo OlguinContributor IIIJanuary 15, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers hovers over Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints after Brees was sacked in the third quarter of the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

After a very strong performance by both the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants this weekend, the NFC Title game looks like it will be an historic matchup.  Both teams are playing at such a high level.  It will be one of the best games NFL playoff history.

Let's take a closer look at these two teams.  

The San Francisco 49ers showed that they have the mental toughness to not give up and take down a top team.  The last five minutes of the NFC division round matchup between the Saints and 49ers was simply amazing to watch.

New Orleans gave their all and used all the firepower they had to score two touchdowns to take the lead in the last two minutes. 

Alex Smith and the 49ers offense did what no one thought they could do, win the game and not just manage it. Smith not only ran for a touchdown, but he made an unbelievable pass to TE Vernon Davis to take the lead with nine seconds left in the game.  

Smith's pass to Davis is going down as one of the greatest passes in 49ers history.  It is right behind "The Catch" and "The Catch II."

Let's not forget about the 49ers defense. Rookie DE Aldon Smith and veteran DE Justin Smith have played at a very high level.  They do not allow opposing quarterbacks to stay comfortable in the pocket.

Just ask Saints QB Drew Brees.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 13:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants in action against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 13, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Smith duo sacked Brees three times and hit him another nine times during the game.  

That's just two of the starters on the 49ers defense.  They have tough, hard working players at every level.  

With this team's offense showing that they can win a game, and the defense playing at such a high level, San Francisco is a very dangerous team to play.  

The only other team that is riding that much momentum is the New York Giants.

The Giants have dominated their two playoff games against the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers.

Everything has come together for New York.  Eli Manning is throwing the ball the best he's thrown in his NFL career.  The tandem of Ahmed Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are starting to find their stride as they stay healthy and keep drives alive.

New York has WR Victor Cruz to tear opposing defenses apart to keep defenses from loading players in the box to stop the running game.  

It is going to be hard to stop all the weapons the Giants have.

The defense has finally begun to play up to its potential.  The defensive line is rushing opposing QBs fast enough to get much needed sacks and allow the secondary to take advantage of rushed passes.  

It is going to be exciting to watch the playmaking offense of the Giants take on the tough 49ers defense.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14:  Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a 14 yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park on January 14, 2012 in San Franci
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

I can't wait for this game.  I am picking the 49ers to take the win with their defense holding down the Giants offense.  

When the 49ers beat the Giants back in November, the 49ers defense kept Manning and the Giants offense under control.

Manning threw two costly interceptions which kept the score close enough to limit the pressure on the 49ers' offense, allowing David Akers to kick four field goals.

I would not be surprised if the same thing happened to the Giants offense again.  The difference this time is the 49ers offense taking advantage.

With the Packers and Saints going into the playoffs, who would have thought the 49ers would be this close to the Super Bowl?

Believe in the 49ers.