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Paul Sakuma,file, Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (11) and head coach Mike Singletary talk on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game in San Francisco. Singletary was fired by the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Dec. 26, 2010, after two disappointing seasons, including a 5-10 showing this year for a franchise that expected to win the NFC West.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Interim 49ers coach Jim Tomsula has made his pick: Alex Smith will start at quarterback in San Francisco's final game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Tomsula says the decision was based on Smith's experience.

Smith was benched for last Sunday's must-win game at St. Louis in favor of Troy Smith. But coach Mike Singletary, who was later fired, went back to Alex Smith in the fourth quarter of the 49ers' 25-17 loss.

San Francisco (5-10) has missed the playoffs for the eighth straight year.

This is likely Alex Smith's final hurrah in a 49ers uniform. The 2005 No. 1 overall pick out of Utah will become a free agent after the season.