New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers: 5 Classic Playoff Encounters

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New York Giants vs. San Francisco 49ers: 5 Classic Playoff Encounters
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

This weekend's NFC Championship brings together two teams with a storied postseason history. The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers have engaged in some of the most tense and ferocious playoff matches the game has ever witnessed.

For decades their rivalry was marked by the sharp contrast in styles between the two teams. The 49ers with the many versions of their west coast offense, were often seen as the finesse team.

The Giants meanwhile, with their punishing defenses and reliance on controlling the clock, were the old fashioned antithesis of everything new and innovative that the 49ers represented.

But times have changed and, in a bizarre stroke of irony, the roles have been reversed. Jim Harbaugh's 2011/12 49ers are built on a grind it out running game and a physically intimidating defense.

The Giants have steadily moved away from the run first mentality that was a franchise hallmark for so long. Their success this season has come from the arm of Eli Manning and the explosive play of wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz.

As a preview to what still promises to be the usual close fought affair between the Giants and 49ers in the playoffs, here are five classic postseason battles between the two teams.

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