It wasn’t very difficult for Mario Manningham to leave the New York Giants after winning a Super Bowl.
The fleet wide receiver is happy in his new home with the 49ers, another championship contender that’s making better use of Manningham than the Giants ever did.
It’s a different situation for Brandon Jacobs. Now healthy after a preseason knee injury, Jacobs has yet to play for the 49ers this season.
This could be the week Jacobs finally makes an impact as he and Manningham eagerly anticipate their first game against their former team when the Giants come to San Francisco on Sunday for a rematch of January’s NFC Championship Game.
Manningham already has made his mark with a San Francisco offense that set a franchise record by gaining 621 yards during last week’s 45-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills.
The fifth-year veteran has worked his way into the starting lineup ahead of newcomer Randy Moss and is third on the team with 19 receptions, including at least three catches in each of San Francisco’s five games. He also has rushed for 57 yards on two reverses after rushing for minus-10 yards during his career with the Giants.
“I’ve had as many [carries] in four months here as in four years in New York,” Manningham said Thursday. “I feel like they’re putting me in a good position to move the chains and make plays. And it’s not like I left a good team and went to a bad team.”
It remains unclear whether the Giants will face Jacobs, a key player on two Super Bowl championship teams during his seven seasons in New York.
Jacobs started 48 games and rushed for 4,849 yards and 56 touchdowns with the Giants, who released him earlier this year when Jacobs declined to take a significant pay cut. He later signed a one-year, $1.575 million deal with San Francisco.
“I know the guys over there,” Jacobs said. “I know it’s going to be war when they come in here. And I’m telling everybody they’re coming in to play football. That’s the way they’ve always been ever since I’ve been around and known them. But this team is going to play football as well, and this is a much better team than what they were last year. So it’s going to be a battle.”
The 49ers will return to Wembley Stadium to play an NFL regular-season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013.
The Jaguars, who have a deal to play one home game in London for four consecutive seasons beginning in 2013, will face the 49ers on Oct. 27, 2013.
The 49ers beat the Denver Broncos in 2010 at Wembley, which has hosted one NFL game annually since 2007. On Oct. 28, the New England Patriots will play the St. Louis Rams in London.
“We think Jaguars-49ers is a matchup our fans will really enjoy and a great way to start a new era in the international development of our game,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.