SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — Sunday will mark the second time two quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall have faced each other in a conference championship game as Alex Smith leads the San Francisco 49ers against Eli Manning and the New York Giants.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the oft-maligned Smith was asked whether he would get to have the last laugh at his critics if the 49ers won on Sunday. He replied, simply: “If we win this game and go to the Super Bowl, it will speak for itself, so I wouldn’t have to say anything.”

In terms of the similarities between himself and Manning, Smith offered this summation: “Obviously, we’re both former first picks. His situation is a little different. To be Peyton’s little brother — to have a brother who’s probably the best quarterback ever — and to be playing in New York, my situation can’t compare to his.”

Smith, though, is likely more concerened with the Giants’ defense than he is about Manning comparisons. He observed that New York’s defensive line has shown improvement: “What I see is that they’re schematically doing a little less, and I think it’s helped them play faster and with better fundamentals. That defensive line is unique. To have that many guys who can get after the passer is unique.”

The 49ers QB also got an opportunity to again relfect on his 14-yard game-winning pass to TE Vernon Davis last weekend against the New Orleans Saints. When asked by reporters whether that was the hardest he could possibly throw a ball, Smith responded: “I don’t think I’ve ever thrown a ball in the middle of a game as hard as I can. I think you lose accuracy when you do that.”

(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)


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