How you feeling? Giants-49ers

November, 13, 2011
11/13/11
11:45
AM ET

As you get ready for this afternoon's game against the 49ers in San Francisco, here's one reason for New York Giants fans to feel good and one reason for concern:

Feeling good: The strength of the Giants' defense is the pass rush, and the 49ers are not a very good pass-protection team. New York should be able to get pressure on Alex Smith with its outstanding front four and without having to blitz much, which is a good thing, since Smith is used to being flushed out of the pocket and not bad at making throws on the run. Assuming they can account for Frank Gore and the run game, the Giants should be able to collapse the pocket before Smith has a chance to escape and limit his ability to make plays against them downfield.

Cause for concern: Well, it's Gore and that aforementioned run game. The Giants have been one of the worst teams in the league this year at defending the run, and Gore has rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his past five games. New York felt very good about the way it performed against the run last week in New England, and the players in the Giants' locker room this week were saying they believed they had their gap-control problems fixed. But the Patriots don't present nearly as difficult a run-game challenge as Gore and the 49ers do, so the real test of whether the Giants have shored up their run defense won't come until today.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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