Matt Maiocco

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The knock against the 49ers all season has been that they're dependent on Frank Gore. He rushed six times for zero yards Sunday, and the 49ers beat a solid Giants team. Matt Maiocco breaks down how it was done.

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Carlos Rogers may have made the flashy plays, but it was Justin Smith who played every snap and sealed the 49ers' 27-20 win over the Giants in Week 10. Matt Maiocco goes player-by-player in his defensive review.

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Jim Harbaugh brought Greg Roman and Vic Fangio with him to the 49ers from his staff at Stanford. Along the way, he picked up Brad Seely. But Harbaugh said he is not sure how long he'll be able to keep his staff intact.

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It was hotly debated by Giants coach Tom Coughlin on the sidelines, but Jim Harbaugh insisted his shift in formation on third and two in the fourth quarter was normal, and legal. "We do it all the time."

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Frank Gore says sore knee not an issue, he'll be fine for Cardinals in Week 11; linebacker Patrick Willis nursing banged-up ribs.

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The 49ers unveiled their "Skywalker" pass play on Sunday, and it netted 16 yards in the third quarter. Matt Maiocco details the play that set up a David Akers field goal.

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Their 8-1 record is the 49ers' best mark since 1997, which was Steve Mariucci's first year as head coach. Insider Matt Maiocco details more of the positives from San Francisco's surprising start to the 2011 season.

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After making a play that clinched a 49ers win for the second time this season, defensive end Justin Smith got some high praise from his head coach Jim Harbaugh and teammate Patrick Willis.

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Veteran kicker David Akers is making the 49ers look smart for signing him over the offseason. Never was that more clear than Sunday, when he made four field goals and executed a perfect surprise onside kick.

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The 49ers had an idea that the Giants would be looking to stop the run and force Alex Smith to beat them with his arm. The 49ers' quarterback did just that en route to a seventh straight win.

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"He's a guy that they're trying to keep out of the position of having to win the football game," Justin Tuck said, among other things, about Alex Smith this week. After Smith's performance Sunday, Tuck changed his tune.

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Frank Gore left Sunday's game against the Giants with a knee injury. Gore has been nursing an ankle injury but a knee issue limited him to six carries for 0 yards.

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After missing one game with a hamstring strain, defensive end Ray McDonald is active and is expected to be back in the 49ers' starting lineup. Who are the 49ers and Giants inactive players?

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The man under the hood is former 49ers quarterback David Carr. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft attended every 'Camp Alex' session last summer. Will his knowledge of the 49ers' playbook help the Giants win?

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Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft, and Eli Manning, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft square off Sunday in San Francisco. Will the two quarterbacks dictate the outcome of the game?

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