The New York Giants are getting ready to take on the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday to see who gets a bid to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on February 5. Both teams are coming off wins in games they weren't supposed to, the 49ers against the New Orleans Saints, and the Giants against defending Super Bowl Champions Green Bay Packers.
The Giants and 49ers have met in the playoffs seven times before, with the 49ers owning a 4-3 record. Each team has gone on to win the Super Bowl twice after their meets.
Their first time the two teams faced off was in the Divisional Playoffs of 1981 season. Meeting at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Joe Montana completed 20 passes for 306 yards for the 49ers, and Scott Brunner completed 16 for 290. Both teams had two wide receivers with over 100 yards, and neither rushed the ball particularly well. San Francisco committed 14 penalties for a total of 145 yards, but managed to recover two fumbles and two interceptions. Ultimately, the 49ers would pull out a win, 38-24. They would go on to win the Super Bowl, 26-21, over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Their next meeting was in the 1984 Divisional Playoffs, which the 49ers would once again win, 21-10. Phil Simms started for the Giants, but only managed to pass for 218 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Montana threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns, but also three interceptions. The lone Giants touchdown came on 14-yard interception return by Harry Carson. The 49ers would again win the Super Bowl that year, beating the Miami Dolphins 38-16.
The Giants would win the next game, the 1985 Wildcard series. Phil Simms again was underwhelming, throwing for under 200 yards. Running back Joe Morris made up for it though, rushing for 141 yards. Giants would take it 17-3, but would lose to the Chicago Bears in the Divisional Playoffs.
The next game was a blowout, with the Giants winning it 49-3. Phil Simms threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions. Joe Morris rushed for 159 yards and another two touchdowns. The 49ers scored no touchdowns, and Montana only threw for 98 yards. The Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl, 39-20, over the Denver Broncos.
The Giants again beat the 49ers in their next match, the 1990 Conference Championship., 15-13. Montana threw the only touchdown of the game in the 3rd quarter - the other points were all scored off of field goals. Again the Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl, 20-19, over the Buffalo Bills.
The 1993 Divisional Playoffs was another blowout, this time in favor of the 49ers, who routed the Giants 44-3. Ricky Watters rushed for 118 yards and five touchdowns for San Francisco, and caught five passes for another 46 yards. They would lose to the Cowboys 38-21 in the Conference Championship.
The teams would not meet in the playoffs again until the 2002 Wildcard game. It was a shootout. Kerry Collins threw for 342 yards and four touchdowns for the Giants, and Jeff Garcia threw for 331 and three touchdowns, and rushed for another 60 yards and a touchdown for San Francisco. The 49ers would ultimately win the game 39-38, but would lose to the Buccaneers 31-6 in the Divisional game.
The two teams will meet for the 8th time in the NFC Conference Championship at 6:30 ET. The winner of this game will advance to the Super Bowl against the winner of the Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots.