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Deep Posts: NFC Championship Edition

Doug Farrar
Shutdown Corner

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Whoops. (Getty Images)

-- From "Fire Tom Coughlin" to a Super Bowl in about a month? In that way, the 2011 New York Giants are very much like the 2007 Super Bowl-winning team. As Albert Breer points out, the Giants are led by a few elemental and important concepts — stick to the plan, believe in your people, and avoid knee-jerk reactions. That's why they're back in the big game. []

-- Giants defensive lineman Dave Tollefson gets a special pep talk from someone close to him before every game — a profane phone call from his mom! [New York Times]

-- Eli Manning has taken his brother's place as the NFL's new Iron Man, with 119 straight starts. And that was in mind after watching Eli get his clock cleaned over and over against the 49ers. He was sacked six times, hit 12 more times, and hurried all through the game. But he kept getting back up and making big plays. After what he faced in the Bay Area, dealing with New England's defense will be like taking the weights off the bat. [The Fifth Down]

-- As much as the Giants' win was about their amazing defense, it was also about San Francisco's conservatism … which was dictated entirely by its complete and utter lack of explosive personnel. Alex Smith threw nine times to his wideouts, and completed one pass for 3 yards. To his running backs and tight ends? Try 11 of 17 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers had nobody, save tight end Vernon Davis, who could beat the Giants' frequent 2-Man coverage concepts, and tight end Delanie Walker saw time as the team's third receiver on about 40 of San Francisco's 57 offensive plays. Funny — I didn't know the 49ers even had a third receiver. [CSN Bay Area]

-- Meanwhile, alleged first receiver Michael Crabtree was frustrated with his role. "Sometimes, you've just got to move the ball," a frustrated Crabtree said after the loss. "You've got to make plays. You've got to give people chances to make plays. You've got to make plays." Exactly, Mr. Crabtree. And you were given five targets. You caught one pass. For 3 yards. Now is not the time to squawk. [Sacramento Bee]

-- The 49ers may have seen their necessary future on the person of Giants' slot receiver Victor Cruz, who beat the daylights out of Carlos Rogers and the 49ers' back seven with his intermediate to deep routes. The formerly conservative Giants have set Cruz up to be the most productive slot receiver in the game (sorry, Wes), and as usual, the brilliant Chris Brown of Smart Football called it. [Grantland]

-- Kyle Williams, whose two special teams turnovers were the difference in the game, has his teammates' support. He also has a handful of Twitter-based death wishes from people who really, really need to examine their own pathetic lives. [CBS Sports]

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