Alex Smith has had plenty of ups and downs in his seven-year career.
He’s played for four different head coaches, seven different offensive coordinators, faced challenges to his job, suffered major injuries and performed below the expectations associated with the first overall pick of the draft. That last point has led to a lot of criticism and scrutiny from 49ers fans and the media. Despite all that, he doesn’t envy the pressure that Eli Manning has faced since he debuted with the Giants.
“To be Peyton’s little brother, the No. 1 pick and you go to New York to play for the Giants,” Smith said, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s a lot of pressure. I don’t think anyone has been in the situation he has … Those are pretty unique circumstances. Your older brother is arguably the greatest quarterback ever and a lot of expectations are on you and you go to a big city like New York. I didn’t have to face those things.”
Interstingly, Sunday’s game will only be the second time in history that two quarterbacks drafted first overall have faced off in a conference championship game. John Elway and Vinny Testaverde were the first duo in the 1998 AFC title tilt.