The New York Giants' defense set the tone in last weekend's 37-20 divisional playoff win over the Green Bay Packers. But while Aaron Rodgers' arm didn't do much damage, the Packers' quarterback was successful enough in one area to give the Giants some cause for concern heading into Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Rodgers took advantage of the Giants' aggressive pass rush to run for a team-high 66 yards on nine carries -- an average of 9.4 yards per clip. The Giants know they can't let Alex Smith, another mobile signal-caller, enjoy similarly open running lanes.
"We've dealt with mobile quarterbacks throughout the season, and we have to have tremendous discipline and stay in our rushing lanes to maintain the integrity of the pocket," defensive tackle Chris Canty told the New York Daily News on Thursday . "We don't want to give (Smith) the opportunity to escape and extend plays or scramble for first downs.
"We want to make sure we keep that pressure-cooker on him. ... We didn't control (Rodgers) running the ball, and that's something we have to clean up going into this game."
The Giants corralled Smith during their Week 10 matchup with the Niners -- a 27-20 loss -- holding him to 27 yards on six carries. A similar effort could help pave the way to the Giants' second Super Bowl berth in the past five seasons.