Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/11/12
Asked to analyze the New York Giants' running game, San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman provided a one-word answer. "Ahmad," he said. Bowman was talking about Ahmad Bradshaw, who rushed for 200 yards and one touchdown in last Sunday's 40-24 victory over Cleveland. An impressive performance, no doubt. But during the FOX America's Game of the Week on Sunday between New York and the host 49ers (4:25 p.m. ET), Bradshaw will be trying to duplicate that effort against two inside linebackers who have made quite a name for themselves. Bowman and inside linebacker Patrick Willis are key components on a defense whose success stuffing the run has played a pivotal part in San Francisco's success since Jim Harbaugh became head coach in 2011. The fact Bowman has garnered significant attention starting alongside Willis -- who arguably is the NFL's top player at the position -- speaks volumes about his own career. A 2010 third-round draft pick from Penn State, Bowman is on pace to lead the 49ers in tackles for a second consecutive season. He has 58 through five games, putting him on pace for a staggering 186 for the entire season. That would top the total of 173 he posted in 2011. Bowman told FOXSports.com that having Willis as a teammate is "something I cherish every single day." "Even being compared or mentioned in the same sentence is really an honor," Bowman said. "I just think we really put the work in to bring out the best in both of us and for people to say we're the best. We don't get complacent at all." The 49ers can't be complacent against Bradshaw or risk getting gashed like the Browns. Bradshaw was one of New York's most productive offensive players in last season's 20-17 victory in the NFC Championship Game. He helped the Giants run the clock with 20 carries for 74 yards, and added 52 more yards on six receptions. With the Giants letting Brandon Jacobs leave to San Francisco in free agency during the offseason, and 2012 first-round pick David Wilson being slow to develop, Bradshaw has the best chance to showcase his skills as a workhorse rusher since being drafted in 2007. "He's quick and he finds a way to get through those small cracks," Bowman said of Bradshaw. "Their o-line's not bad. They do a good job of playing together." The outing against Cleveland was the best of the season for Bradshaw, who was forced to miss a Week 3 victory over Carolina after suffering a neck injury the previous game against Tampa Bay. Bradshaw, though, believes he could have tallied even bigger numbers. "We left a lot of plays on the field," Bradshaw told Giants media on Thursday. "We could have ended up with 250, maybe 300 (yards). I'm never satisfied." Realistically, Bradshaw has no shot of posting those types of numbers against San Francisco. But the 49ers did prove vulnerable when surrendering an uncharacteristic 146 rushing yards during a Week 3 loss at Minnesota. Even decent production from the ground game Sunday will keep the Giants from having to rely too heavily on the Eli Manning-led passing attack. "They're physical, they're strong, they set blocks better than anybody in the league," Bradshaw said of the 49ers. "They hit people up front and they come back to the ball. If the ball gets past them, they make plays downfield, even the big guys. They never quit, they never stop." Bradshaw then added, "We're up for the task. I think we'll be fine." Bowman is anxious to prove otherwise, especially with revenge from last year's NFC title game another motivating factor entering Sunday's rematch. "The Giants do a good job mixing it up," he said. "One drive they may set up the pass, but another drive they may establish the run a lot more and try to beat you over the top. You have to be ready for pretty much anything. "Besides, they're defending Super Bowl champs. You know they're good." On Sunday, Bowman will be trying to prove the 49ers are better.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Malik McDowell arrest video shows him berating officers

McCarthy confirms Rodgers expected to start Sunday

Goodell plans to step down as commissioner at end of new deal

Report: Marcell Ozuna traded to Cardinals

Smith-Schuster wants Brown to pay his fine for Burfict hit

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron James can relate to Lonzo Ball

Angels GM ‘pleased’ with results of Shohei Ohtani’s physical

Abdul-Jabbar: NBA has surpassed NFL as league of future

Shaq’s Instagram challenge: Name better NBA duo than he and Kobe

Report: Tyrod Taylor expected to start in Week 15

Kyle Shanahan not expecting Jimmy Garoppolo contract soon

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

NFL free agent signings who have paid off the most in 2017

Six NBA coaches who could be on the hot seat

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

Top 10 Player of the Year candidates

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The 'Josh Gordon is back and the NFL will have to deal with it!' quiz

The best individual performance from every bowl all time

NFL Week 14 injury report

Sports & Politics Intersect: When Olympic gold corrupts

The best games of 2017

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker