NFC Championship Q&A -- Eli Manning

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NFC Championship Q&A -- Eli Manning

Giants quarterback Eli Manning outplayed Aaron Rodgers on Sunday and now he's coming to San Francisco to try and improve on his previous visit in November, when he threw for 311 yards and two TDs, but also served up a pair of interceptions and lost 27-20.

New York's Super Bowl-winning QB met the media Monday and gave his first glimpse into his mindset for the NFC Championship against the 49ers.

Eli ManningJanuary 16, 2012

Q: What does this win do for you moving forward?
Manning: Its a big win and obviously going against a great team talented on both sides of the football. Their offense had a great year. Their defense did outstanding. Stopping them, getting turnovers and then offensively we did well on third down, hitting some big plays and not giving them turnovers. Theyve been great at getting turnovers all season. We gave them one, but played smart football on both sides of the ball and found a way to win.

Q: How gratifying was the success the team had on third down?
Manning: Thats big. Obviously thats extending drives. Thats giving us opportunities to make big plays. Early on, from the first series, we had a couple big third-and-long conversions. The second series, we had a third-and-long conversion where I hit Hakeem. The next play I throw an in-cut to Hakeem. He breaks a tackle and scores a touchdown. Giving yourself an extra three plays thats big for us. We know offensively that the more plays we get the more opportunities were going to have to hit some big plays and get some touchdowns.

Q: Whats it like to get another shot at San Francisco in the NFC Championship?
Manning: Were excited. Its a big game and theyre playing great football. We know what to expect with them. Theyre very a sound team. Theyre very good. They have good players. They play with great energy. Their secondary has good players in it. Theyre good all around. They play smart football. Their offense doesnt turn the ball over. They run the ball. Alex Smith is playing well. We know were going to have to play that same way. Were going to have to play smart. Offensively, were going to have to be very consistent. Everybody is going to know their assignments. Its just about execution.

Q: How much fun is it to see the confidence building?
Manning: Its fun when youre playing good football, when everybody is executing, when the team is playing well together. And thats both sides of the ball. Offense doing our part scoring points, third down conversions, making big plays. Defensively, theyre getting after the quarterback, theyre getting stops. When things are clicking as a team its a great feeling.

Q: Is revenge a factor this week or is just the fact that its the NFC Championship game enough?
Manning: This is about the NFC Championship. Its an opportunity to get this win and go on to the Super Bowl. We played them once before. We know theyre a good team. Theres no denying that. Theyre playing great football. Theyre playing with great confidence. Its going to be exciting going out there and having another shot and seeing what we can do.

Q: How do the 49er linebackers stack up?
Manning: Theyre about as good as they get. I dont know if there is a better corps in the NFL with their 3-4 scheme and Patrick Willis and Bowman and their outside backers. Theyre talented. Their front seven is as good as you can face in the NFL. And their secondary is talented as well. Theyre solid. They dont have many weaknesses on defense. Its just going to come down to execution and everybody doing their assignments.

Q: Youre one game away from the Super Bowl. Thats another notch up from a playoff game isnt it?
Manning: Definitely. This is exciting. This is where you want to be. We always talk about finishing and playing your best football at the end of the season. Thats what were doing now. Were playing great football on both sides of the ball. We have to continue to do that. Were playing smart. We cant turn the ball over. Hopefully our defense can continue to get some turnovers for us and continue to play well. If were going to continue this thing, its going to take both sides of the ball playing to the best of their ability.

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Frank Gore continues to move up the list of the top rushers in NFL history.

Gore, the 49ers’ all-time leading ground-gainer, picked up 79 yards on 20 rushing attempts Monday night in the Indianapolis Colts’ 41-10 victory over the New York Jets.

Gore moved past Tony Dorsett and into eighth place on the NFL’s all-time list with 12,789 yards. Next up is Eric Dickerson at No. 7 with 13,259 yards.

The only retired player in the top 11 all-time rushers who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is LaDainian Tomlinson. He is eligible for the induction for the first time in 2017. The only other running back in the top 15 who is not in the Hall of Fame is Edgerrin James at No. 12.

In 10 seasons with the 49ers, Gore gained a club-record 11,073 yards. In 28 games with the Colts, Gore has 1,716 yards.

After coming up just 33 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark in his first year in Indianapolis, Gore needs 251 yards in the final four games for the ninth 1,000-yard season of his 12-year career.

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.