Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs with the ball late in the second quarter against Tramon Williams #38 of the Green Bay Packers during their NFC Divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 15, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The San Fransisco 49ers and New York Giants could play a much different kind of game than their Week 10 encounter, now that their starting running backs are healthy and rain is in the forecast.
When the New York Giants and the San Fransisco 49ers faced off in Week 10, both teams were without the services of their best running back, at least for the majority of the game. Frank Gore suited up, but rushed just six times for no yards. Ahmad Bradshaw did not dress in the third of his four missed games. Alex Smith and Eli Manning combined for 70 pass attempts in the game while both teams struggled to run the ball effectively.
Bradshaw and Gore are both back and healthy. Both had extremely effective divisional playoff games and both teams will probably run the ball much more than they did in the first game as a result. Additionally, the weather in San Francisco is expected to be rainy from Thursday on through the game. Expect a slightly muddy Candlestick Park.
If this game is anywhere near as good as the first edition -- which was close until a late Manning interception gifted the 49ers a two-score lead -- everyone is in for a treat. The presence of Gore, Bradshaw and the rain will make it a much different kind of football game than the first encounter, but it should be just as close.