Originally written on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/18/14

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass the ball during the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 28-6. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
This weekend the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers will meet in San Francisco to determine who will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. While both teams are full of talented players, this article examines five players who are going to be the biggest factors in determining if their team wins or loses this weekend. Alex Smith, San Francisco:In football, praise for a successful offense, and the criticism for a poor offense, are usually placed on the shoulders of the quarterback. While Alex Smith deserves praise for his play at the end of the game against New Orleans, his play through the first three and a half quarters was not as spectacular. San Francisco’s offense led by Smith started the game against New Orleans, scoring 17 unanswered points. However, after that the offense stalled out punting the ball seven times, and losing the ball once on a fumble, in their next eight possessions. Fortunately, for San Francisco, New Orleans muffed one of those punts leading to a David ...
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