The questions seemed unlikely at first, given that the Patriots had a 5-2 record heading into Week 9, whereas the Giants' next opponent, San Francisco, has a won six consecutive games on its way to 7-1. But there's no question the Patriots' success over the years makes them a bigger target, even if the 49ers are playing better right now.
Giants players handled the questions ably.
"I don't think you are ever concerned with a letdown," quarterback Eli Manning told reporters.
Of the 49ers, he said, "This is not a team that we play very often, so we need to learn their personnel, their scheme and learning the plays that we have to run and just be prepared to go out there and play a tough game."
Speaking of Manning, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh offered specifics on what makes the Giants' quarterback one of the better players at the position. Those comments dovetailed with thoughts from Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc.
"Tremendous arm talent," Harbaugh said. "He has great stature in the pocket. Tremendous vision. Plays very cool. Makes great decisions and does a really good job buying time and gives himself more time to make those cool-headed decisions. Finds quiet spots in the pocket and makes throws that only the best ones in the game can make."
This game will come down to more than the quarterbacks, but the Giants' heavy reliance on Manning will be difficult to overlook. The 49ers have so far fared well against teams built around quarterbacks with the "arm talent" Harbaugh mentioned. They've beaten Michael Vick, Josh Freeman and Matthew Stafford.