1. Gore, Gore and more Gore
The main thing to look for in this game will be Frank Gore — a lot of Frank Gore.
The 49ers make no secret that they utilize Gore to the fullest. He’s their best — and some say only — offensive weapon. Gore has had a great season so far, posting 782 yards, 4.9 yards per carry and five scores. He is the backbone of an offense that would rather not put the onus on quarterback Alex Smith.
He’s having a career season, but his past makes the Niners faithful weary.
The Niners will look to pound a suddenly suspect Giants run defense.
2. Eli’s coming, hide your cornerbacks
Eli Manning is the hottest quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers and will look to keep it rolling against a very steady 49ers defense.
It’ll be a tough task, because Manning hasn’t had the luxury of his counterpart Alex Smith, who has a premier running game behind him.
Look for the Giants to implement a pass-heavy scheme to offset their inconsistent rushing attack. Manning was a turnover machine last season, but has been very judicious this season.
3. Will the injuries ever end?
The health of the Giants will also have a huge influence on the outcome.
Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is having a bad statistical year and to compound that he’s also been banged up with a foot injury. His availability will be a game-time decision. The status of wideout Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) shouldn’t be as secretive. He’s slated to give it a go, but his effectiveness will be a mystery until the game starts.