Giants vs. 49ers Predictions: Unsung Heroes for Both NFC Championship Teams

Michael MillSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 21, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants catches a 27-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter against Dunta Robinson #23 of the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. EST the NFC Championship Game kicks off between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers.

Each team has taken their own unique path to make it to the game, but only one will continue the story with a win sending them to the Super Bowl.

The Giants have taken on the underdog role throughout the playoffs. Their sudden hot play and confidence has carried them past the heavy favorites in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers.

The 49ers have played old school and conventional football to make it to the game. They stunned the New Orleans Saints last week to make it the the Championship game.

In big games like this, it's typically an unknown player who steps up with a big play that makes the difference.

We'll never forget the big play David Tyree made in Super Bowl XLII to help the Giants emerge as champions.

Who will be the unsung heroes in this game?

Here are possibilities for both NFC Championship teams.

WR Mario Manningham, New York Giants

The New York Giants have one of the better passing attacks in the NFL.

Eli Manning is having one of the best seasons of his career. Hakeem Nicks is playing like a Pro Bowl wide receiver. Victor Cruz has emerged as one of the up-and-coming talents in the league.

This has allowed for Mario Manningham to go widely unnoticed by many.

Manningham has struggled with injuries throughout the season. He really hasn't been targeted too frequently.

However, in the last two playoff games he has managed seven catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

With the focus on Nicks and Cruz, Manningham could quietly have a very productive day.

CB Carlos Rogers, San Francisco 49ers

The addition of Carlos Rogers to the San Francisco defense may have been the top acquisition the 49ers made last offseason.

Rogers was selected for the Pro Bowl, but would much rather play in the Super Bowl the following week.

It's no secret that the Giants are going to come out with a pass heavy attack.

There are many people around the league that still don't give Rogers the credit he deserves for his play this season.

If he makes a game-changing interception that sends his team to the Super Bowl, maybe he'll start getting that praise.