49ers players expressed happiness about the fact that the Giants beat the Packers on Sunday, but their coach was a little bit more measured in his comments.
Jim Harbaugh said he wasn’t rooting for anyone going into the game, cautioning that you should “be careful what you wish for” in such situations. But Harbaugh said that once it was clear that the Giants were playing harder than the Packers, he began rooting for them out of his habit for rooting for the team that’s playing hardest. At any rate, Harbaugh isn’t taking the opponent lightly.
“That’s a formidable opponent,” Harbaugh said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s a worthy opponent. That’s a scary opponent.”
The 49ers beat the Giants 27-20 at Candlestick earlier this season, but the Giants team right now is a lot better than the one that took the field that Sunday. Their defense is healthier and playing at a much higher level while the rushing offense has been livelier than it was in the first three-quarters of the season. Even without those phases clicking, the Giants had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds before Justin Smith knocked down an Eli Manning pass to seal the victory.
It has all the makings of a tight battle, so you can’t really blame the Niners for wanting to have it on their home field. Whether that’s enough to tip the scales in their favor is something that we’ll all be debating until Sunday evening rolls around.