This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers welcome the New York Giants to the Bay Area for the third time in 11 months. The first game featured the 7-1 49ers and the 6-2 Giants and ended with a tight 27-20 49ers victory. The second game featured the much-talked about heart-breaking 49ers loss in the NFC Championship Game. The background is pretty well known at this point.
My question heading into this game is what does this particular matchup mean? Yes it is a "rematch" of the NFC Championship Game, and yes it features two teams that could meet again come January. I think for the players there is a certain flavor of the rematch to consider, but in reality, does any of that matter?
After Sunday's win, Alex Smith talked about the Giants game and did acknowledge there is some unfinished business. Kyle Williams chatted with the media earlier today and also discussed the game in some detail. Obviously we know plenty about his history with this game. Alex Smith and Kyle Williams both entered this season looking for some measure of redemption. Kyle Williams had his fumbles, while Alex Smith and the passing game struggled mightily. They are both redeeming themselves this year, but maybe this game brings a little something extra for them.
So how do you view this game? It is probably a bit naive to think there is nothing to think about other than just getting the win. It has been long enough since the NFC Championship Game that I am not thinking, "REVENGE!" At the same time, I have to think it is somewhere int he back of the players' minds. The title game was quite the battle. If Kyle Williams doesn't have that second fumble, I think that game goes to at least one more overtime. It wasn't pretty, but it was fairly epic.
Does any of that matter this Sunday when two teams look to get an important NFC victory?