San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice runs past New...

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice runs past New Orleans Saints' Toi Cook for a touchdown in the first half. (Nov. 7, 1989) Credit: AP

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.

"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."

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