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49ers vs. Giants: Why Alex Smith and Vernon Davis Will Key San Francisco to Win

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49ers vs. Giants: Why Alex Smith and Vernon Davis Will Key San Francisco to Win
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

If head coach Jim Harbaugh's demeanor on Friday was any indication of how the 49ers are feeling heading into Sunday's game against the Giants, San Francisco is going to be fired up, to say the least. 

In a rematch of the 2011 NFC Championship Game that saw the 49ers lose in heartbreaking fashion, San Francisco appears poised to exact revenge on the defending Super Bowl Champions. 

And it'll be the team's lethal combination of quarterback Alex Smith and tight end Vernon Davis leading the way. 

Entering Sunday's game, the 49ers are one of the league's hottest teams, coming off dominant performances against the Jets and Bills, which saw San Francisco outscore its opponents by a combined score of 79-3. 

Last year, Alex Smith was just beginning to establish himself as an elite starting quarterback in the NFL, and he wasn't exactly the on-field presence that he is in 2012. 

Nowadays, Smith is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the game, and his partnership with Davis, coupled with the consistent ground threat of Frank Gore, makes the 49ers' offense virtually unstoppable once it gets rolling. 

In Week 5 against the Bills, Smith and Davis hooked up five times for 106 yards, Gore had a 100-yard rushing day and the 49ers cruised to a 45-3 win.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Going into Sunday's game, the former University of Maryland star leads the 49ers with four receiving touchdowns on the year and ranks second on the team in reception yards behind Michael Crabtree with 303. 

What makes the combination of Smith and Davis so dangerous is the presence of Gore, who leads the 49ers' rushing attack, which is currently ranked first in the league. 

Through the first five weeks of the season, the Giants' defense has been better on the ground than through the air, so there's reason to believe that Harbaugh will lean more heavily on Smith and his impressive collection of receivers to carry the offense. 

Outside of Crabtree and Davis, Smith also has a pair of talented targets in former Giant Mario Manningham and future Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss, so he has no shortage of options at his disposal. 

The last time these two teams met, the Giants did an outstanding job of limiting Smith's options, which is why Crabtree was the only 49ers receiver with a catch. 

Things are different now, and Smith's offense will show the Giants how much it has improved since January. 

The Giants are the defending Super Bowl Champions for good reason, as they're among the most well-rounded and competitive teams in the game, but San Francisco has been arguably the league's most impressive team thus far in 2012, and with Smith and Davis leading the charge, they'll find a way to win on Sunday. 

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