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Giants' o-line looking to protect Eli better this time

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning fumbles as

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning fumbles as he is hit by San Francisco 49ers' Ray McDonald and NaVorro Bowman during the first half. (Jan. 22, 2012) Credit: AP

Eli Manning showed his toughness last year when he famously took six sacks and 12 ferocious quarterback hits from the 49ers in the NFC title game and kept getting up after each one. His offensive linemen would prefer he not have to prove it again.

“He’s definitely somebody that will stand in there no matter what, but that’s our job,” center David Baas said of keeping Manning upright. “We’ve got to keep him clean. We know it’s going to be a challenge, but we’re up for it.”

While the line was being feted for its role in Sunday’s 243 rushing yards, one of the things it’s been able to do all season is protect Manning well. Consider this: He was sacked more in that one game against the 49ers last January than he has been through the first five games of this season. Manning has been sacked just four times in 2012 and, while it’s far from an exact stat, opposing teams have been credited with just 11 quarterback hits against the Giants.

“We need to go out there and do a better job,” Baas said of the last trip to San Francisco. “They touched Eli way too many times.”


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