Harbaugh: Our fans turned that stadium into a fortress

January 16, 2012, 9:37 pm
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SANTA CLARA -- Coach Jim Harbaugh generally does not like to root for a particular outcome that impacts which opponent his team faces.But he had a couple different reasons to want the New York Giants to defeat the Green Bay Packers. The Giants' 37-20 victory over the top-seeded Packers means that the 49ers will remain home for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m."In terms of having the game here, that is an advantage for us," Harbaugh said Monday. "And I really say that after feeling the game this past Saturday in Candlestick."Our fans turned that stadium into a fortress. That's as good as it can get. Our crowd was behind us. Our players felt it. It was a great environment. It felt like somebody locked the gates and put us in here, and we have 70,000 and a city behind us. It just felt that way. It felt good. It felt like an advantage."The 49ers capitalized on that home-field advantage for a 36-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday in an NFC divisional playoff game. Then, Harbaugh and his staff watched the Giants-Packers game to see which team would join the 49ers alive in the NFC end of the bracket."If I ever root, it's for the team that's playing harder," Harbaugh said. "And it became evident that the Giants were playing harder and just executing better, and played as a team. That's a formidable opponent. That's a worthy opponent. That is a scary opponent. That's one that we will have to come with every ounce of our 'A game,' as well."Giants coach Tom Coughlin described his squad as "a dangerous team." So how dangerous are the 49ers?"We're a good football team," Harbaugh said. "I like our team. I think we're a tough team when we're prepared and we have our focus and we fight like we did, shoot, every game we played this year. We're a darn tough team to beat."

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