In an era where there were more 5,000-yard passers last season than in the previous history of the NFL combined and teams are relying more and more on big plays to carry their offense, the 49ers stand virtually alone in their commitment to running the ball and grinding out yards. They lead the league in rushing yardage with 195.8 yards per game and while QB Alex Smith has the highest passer rating in the NFL, the 49ers average only 205.4 passing yards per game, ranked 27th.

"Very different," Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said of the 49ers' run-first mentality. "They present you a lot of different runs and blocking schemes, a lot of different personnel groups with the formations and adjustments. They are a little bit unique in what they do."

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Frank Gore has already run for 432 yards on 80 carries and backup Kendall Hunter has added 201 yards on 37 carries. Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka called them a "throwback" offense.

"Their backs are obviously the main story there," Kiwanuka said.

 

Fewell: Sacks will come

One of the biggest hand-wringers for the Giants this season has been the absence of a dominating pass rush. Fewell, who in the past has shown some fire and used some emotion during his weekly meeting with the press to try to implore his defense, remained calm yesterday."They'll get sacks, they'll get hits," he said of his defensive line. "I have a lot of confidence in those guys. They'll play, they'll be fine."