NY-SF battle for NFC championship could be another classic

The road to Super Bowl XLVI will end this Sunday night at approximately 10 p.m., when two teams will be left standing to play in Indianapolis on February 5. The favorites (according to the oddsmakers) are the New England Patriots and San Francisco Forty Niners. However, many "smart" football people (many coincidentally based in the media capital of America, Manhattan) prefer Eli Manning's New York Giants over Alex Smith's 49ers.

Smith is undoubtedly still considered the weakest quarterback of the final four playing this weekend, but boosted by the guidance of new coach Jim Harbaugh, he led the Niners to their shocking turnaround this season. The first player selected in the NFL draft in 2005, the 27-year-old Smith stunned everyone in the NFL last Saturday with his outstanding play in leading the Niners to an upset over the New Orleans Saints.

Can he do it two weeks in a row?

The question presents itself as these two teams, representing arguably America's two greatest cities, revive a rivalry that has included at least two certifiable classic playoff games over the decades in Candlestick Park.