49ers prepare for NFC championship

San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, is greeted by his brother-in-law John Feuerborn, right, at the end of their NFL football practice in Santa Clara, Calif., Friday, Jan. 20, 2012. The 49ers are scheduled to host the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 22. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

January 20, 2012 9:38:56 PM PST
With less than 48 hours to go before Sunday's NFC title game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants wide receiver Ted Ginn and tight end Delanie Walker are both currently listed as questionable.

Jim Harbaugh said Friday that he and his staff will be game-planning up to an hour before kick-off. Friday morning Harbaugh was in the office well before sunrise.

The only thing Harbaugh seems to fear heading into Sunday's game is being unprepared.

"It's especially important against a team like the Giants; it's really never done, I think that the 'hay's in the barn philosophy' is not one that we subscribe to," Harbaugh said.

Offensively, the 49ers know they'll need to be ready for an all-out, pass-rushing assault on Alex Smith.

"Any time a defense can get pressure with just their front four, that can make things very difficult," Smith said. "Means they've got seven guys back there that can focus on coverage and that's about as good as it gets if you're a defensive coordinator, right?"

The same can be said for the 49ers defense. They dominate up front and their linebacking corps rarely lets a back get into the secondary.

"We don't really have to play the run or worry about the play action because our front seven has really been so good this year; they're the best in the National Football League," Donte Whitner said.

On the rare occasion they do get by, Whitner and company make them pay.

"We play physical and whenever you play physical people get hurt," Whitner said.

Two fast and physical defenses, two opportunistic offenses -- one team wins.

"It's got to come from your heart; you've got to play from your heart, just the intensity that you have, the mentality that you have to have," Chris Canty said.