The weather does not appear to be cooperating for the NFC Championship Game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers this weekend.
The forecast in San Francisco is rain, rain and then some more rain starting on Thursday and going all the way through the game. Right now the chance of rain is at 70 percent for Sunday.
This could affect both teams in diffferent ways. The 49ers have such an advantage in special teams over everyone, but that will be lessened with poor weather. Conversely, the Giants are a faster team and live off of the big play. The field at San Francisco is notoriously bad even with good conditions, so that may slow New York down considerably.
The running game will be key even more than normal. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw will need to find creases behind an offensive line that struggles to run block at times.
Defensively, the game plan doesn't change all that much. Frank Gore is going to be the focal point of the 49ers offense regardless of rain. If the Giants can bottle him up and force Alex Smith into third and long, Tom Coughlin and Co. are in good shape.
Of course, ball security will also be at a premium. With slippery conditions and two teams that play staunch defense, a turnover could make all the difference. It's often the big mistake, not the big play, that determine games with two teams of this style.