New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride accused 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith of using illegal tactics
in becoming such a pest to the Giants and other clubs.
"Smith is a beast on the inside, he's strong, he does as good a job of grabbing a hold of offensive linemen and allowing those twists to take place," Gilbride told New York media in a transcript provided by the Giants.
"He never gets called for it so he gets away with murder.
"That, in conjunction with the ability level they have, makes them as formidable as anybody we go against, and we go against some pretty good ones in Dallas' and Philadelphia's."
Smith sacked Eli Manning on the Giants' penultimate possession in the NFC Championship game, and Smith batted down a fourth-down pass to preserve a 49ers' regular-season win over the Giants.
Smith is consistently drawing double teams this season, and although he doesn't have any sacks, he has a team-high 27 quarterback pressures.
"There's nothing wrong with him. He's still applying good pressure," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "Teams have thrown the ball quickly on us at times.
"I haven't felt during any of the games like, 'damn, where's our pass rush?' And until I feel that then we don't have a problem."