The 49ers had the NFL's best rushing defense this season, and at least one prominent Niners alumnus doesn't think the Giants' Brandon Jacobs will pose much of a threat to that status in the NFC Championship Game.

Jerry Rice said Wednesday that the 6-4, 264-pound back should be far more difficult to tackle than he has been.

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"How can one guy bring that guy down?" the Hall of Fame receiver and ESPN analyst said in a phone interview. "He's a beast. He's an animal. I want to see him punish someone and run over them. I can't understand why he's getting tackled by guys who are 180, 190, maybe 200 pounds and falling down.

"He goes straight down, even in short yardage. I noticed that he has the size and ability to move the pile. I just don't understand. At impact, he goes down."