There are two very effective ways to slow down a passing attack: 1) put relentless pressure on the quarterback and 2) play airtight coverage on passing targets. Against the New York Giants last weekend, the Green Bay Packers were unable to do either, as David Fucillo at Niners Nation points out. Eli Manning threw for 330 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while only taking one sack and seven hits.
According to Fucillo, getting pressure on Manning should be priority No. 1 for the San Francisco 49ers during Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
You could make arguments that good pressure forces quick throws or great coverage gives the pass rush time to develop. For the 49ers, I would think getting pressure is more important. They have solid corners, but I think guys like Justin Smith, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks are more apt to get pressure a little bit quicker, rather than hoping the secondary can maintain their assignments while Eli is taking his time figuring out where to throw.
San Francisco was tied for seventh place in the NFL with 42 sacks on the season. It should be noted that they rarely blitzed however, sending four or fewer pass rushers on 80.9 percent of snaps during the regular season for the second-highest rate in the league according to ESPN. Giants blog Big Blue View breaks down the matchup by the numbers even further.
For updates and analysis on these teams leading up to their matchup, visit 49ers blogNiners Nation, Giants blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York and SB Nation Bay Area. Don't forget to check out SB Nation's NFL hub for all your playoff news.