It's a playoff rematch vs. Giants

When it all was said and done after Sunday's NFL season finales, the 49ers will be opening the playoffs this weekend the same way they opened the season way back in early September - against the New York Giants. But this time, they'll get the Giants at home.

A few weeks ago, the Niners probably weren't even considering the possibility they'd be playing New York again in the postseason. But the Giants, on the brink of playoff elimination, came on strong by winning their final four games, including a 10-7 overtime victory against NFC East champion Philadelphia on Saturday.

Then, when Atlanta and New Orleans both lost on Sunday, the Giants vaulted into the No. 5 playoff seed, where they will play the No. 4 49ers in a wild-card game next Sunday in San Francisco.

Atlanta backed into the playoffs as the NFC's No. 6 seed by losing 24-16 at Cleveland on Sunday. New Orleans could have grabbed the No. 6 seed due to Atlanta's loss, but the Saints were upset 10-6 at home by Carolina. New Orleans, which lost its last three games to teams with losing records, had the NFL's best record (6-1) after beating the Niners 35-27 at New Orleans on Oct. 20. But the Saints went 3-6 the rest of the way.

The 49ers beat the Giants 16-13 in a nationally-televised Thursday night season opener at The Meadowlands on Sept. 5, even though they were outgained 361-279 in total yardage.

That was the fifth consecutive time the 49ers had beaten the Giants. The 49ers have a 16-14 edge in the all-time series between the teams. In their last playoff meeting, the Niners routed the Giants 44-3 at San Francisco in the 1993 divisional round.

The Giants are returning to the playoffs for the first time since they won the NFC Championship following the 2000 season before losing 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.


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