Tonight's football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants will be this year's real ``Super Bowl,'' says former Giants linebacker Harry Carson. ``It's a very good matchup,'' says the nine-time all-pro, who is now a sports broadcaster. ``There's a lot of talent on the field when these two teams meet. It will boil down to who makes mistakes at the most critical times.''

Tonight's game ``will be more of a Super Bowl than the Super Bowl games that have been played the last two years,'' he adds. (As both 10-1 teams are in the same conference, only one can be in the Super Bowl.)

Asked what makes this year's Giants team so special, Carson replies quickly, ``I think [Coach] Bill Parcells. He keeps these guys very humble.'' The Giants ``have a lot of weapons on offense. They have a big, strong offensive line, game-breaker wide receivers, and the ability to run and pass the ball to backs out of the backfield.''

The 49ers have ``a good run attack,'' says Carson, ``but not as good as it has been. The offense revolves around Joe Montana. They have a good offensive line that has a tremendous amount of pride in protecting Montana and opening holes for [running backs] Roger Craig and Tom Rathman.''

Will Giants linebackers be tempted to try to hit Montana so hard that it will take him out of the game?

``You don't go out there intentionally trying to hurt someone,'' Carson says. ``You want a player to be aggressive, to go after the other guy, but you want him to play a clean game.'' Coach Parcells ``won't tolerate dirty play,'' he adds.

``Prior to the game, the players go into prayer together. If the Giants go into prayer, they pray for the other team to come out of the game healthy.''

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.