- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The San Francisco 49ers have the ninth-ranked defense in the NFL.
They are fantastic against the run, allowing a league low 70.8 rushing yards per game. Against the pass? Not so much.
Eli Manning is well aware of this.
New York Giants
“They are really talented on defense. Their front seven is really good and you don’t see a whole lot of teams running against them,” Manning said.
But you do see teams attacking them through the air. Jim Harbaugh's crew is giving up 255 passing yards per game, 10th-worst in the NFL.
So the onus may be on Manning and the passing game to generate points on Sunday.
Manning wouldn’t say if the Giants were going to attack the Niners' secondary when he spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
“It is a matter of scheme and what is the way they think we can stop the run,” Manning said.
The quarterback explained that if San Francisco uses its front seven to defend against the run and leaves its safeties in the defensive backfield, then the Giants will have to commit to the run and “adjust in the passing game.”
But if San Francisco chooses to use its safeties to stop the run, “then we are just going to have to throw it,” said Manning.
If so, the Giants have to feel good putting the game in Manning’s hands.
He ranks sixth in the league in passer rating, passing yards per game and touchdown passes and led the Giants to a fourth-quarter comeback on Sunday in Foxboro, where the Patriots had won 20 straight regular season games.
Want another sign that the Giants are going to attack San Francisco through the air?
The Giants also have the 29th-ranked rush offense in the league.
COUGHLIN SALUTES VETERANS: With Veteran’s Day on Friday, Tom Coughlin took time at the end of his Wednesday press conference to offer his thoughts on the military.
“It’s a privilege to honor our veterans, our military,” Coughlin said. “All over the world today [there are] men and women defending our country. It’s always an honor for us to be in their presence. I think we need to again, focus as a country on recognizing the tremendous contribution that these people make to our security, to our way of life, to the continuation of our way of life."
Coughlin has visited soldiers abroad, has a relationship with Gen. Raymond Odierno, who served as a commanding general in Iraq, and has embraced locker room and game-day visits from Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, who was severely injured in the Iraq War.
He said he received an email from Gen. Odierno after the Giants’ win over the Patriots on Sunday.
"It reminded me of him and of the incredible job and responsibility that he has had when he was the, in charge of Iraq, if you will,” Coughlin said. “But I find that being in the presence of so many of these young people representing our country is an honor for us. But they always want to express it the other way around. And you have to slow down and say, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa! We’re honoring you, we’re thanking you for what you do for all of us.' So I don’t think we can do enough of that as a country.”
The San Francisco 49ers have the ninth-ranked defense in the NFL. They are fantastic against the run, allowing a league low 70.8 rushing yards per game.