Blog Entry

49ers win over Saints an all-time great

Posted on: January 14, 2012 9:47 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2012 10:01 pm
An emotional Alex Smith celebrates after the 49ers win Saturday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With the ability to instantly weigh-in on sporting events in real time a big factor in entertainment consumption, it's easy to get ahead of ourselves and declare something an "instant classic." But make no mistake: that's exactly what Saturday night's 36-32 victory for San Francisco was.

"This is big for us," tight end Vernon Davis said afterward. "It's history. It's legendary."

Vernon's more right than he'll probably know for a few hours. They say history repeats itself, right? Well, watch Davis game-winning touchdown catch and then tell us whether or not it reminds you of this:

It should, because although the down, distance and time remaining were different, the situation was very much similar. No one's going to mistake Alex Smith for Joe Montana or Steve Young.

They shouldn't. But Smith deserves an immense amount of credit for leading the Niners on two career-defining drives in the final three minutes of Saturday's game.

Of course, the first one came after the drama really started. After David Akers kicked a field goal with 7:36 remaining, everyone wondered whether the Niners could come up with one more stop of Brees. They couldn't -- Brees hit the previously quiet Darren Sproles for a 44-yard touchdown and suddenly it was like the impressive 49ers defensive effort was wasted.

Smith saw that it wasn't, arching a beautiful 37-yard pass to Davis on second down and getting within Akers range. After an absurd 12-men-in-the-huddle penalty, Greg Roman called for a Smith run off the left hand that caught Gregg Williams with his pants down and resulted in the longest playoff touchdown run by a quarterback in 49ers history.

We won't get into whether or not Smith should've gone down at the five-yard line (he should've) but suffice to say, the drama only got cranked up from there. Brees hit Jimmy Graham for a 66-yard pass where Donte Whitner egged on tackling and coverage and with 1:37 left in the game, it would've been a tough task for Montana to come back, much less Smith.

But he did just that, firing a laser to Davis that the tight end took 47 yards and inside of Akers range. Jim Harbaugh apparently wasn't satisfied with overtime and after getting to the New Orleans 14, Smith spiked the ball and then slung the dart to Davis for the game-winning touchdown with nine seconds remaining.

It was a glorious, unlikely ending to one of the all-time great playoff games; a showcase of defense throughout the first 55 minutes, followed by an out-of-nowhere offensive explosion that ranks up there with just about any game we've seen in terms of having multiple drives that looked like game-winners.

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Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: January 15, 2012 12:36 pm

49ers win over Saints an all-time great

     Mister C, I say the same thing.  This game was the best one I've watched in a while.  I put it very close to "The Catch" game which of course was one of a kind.  I don't think it will happen but I would love to see a Harbaugh-Harbaugh Super Bowl!

Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: January 15, 2012 6:34 am

49ers win over Saints an all-time great

Wow....neither did I or all Saints' fans didn't expect this to happen because of the Saints' high-powered offense. This game will go down as one of the best NFC Divisional playoff games of all time.

Since: Nov 13, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2012 11:53 pm

49ers win over Saints an all-time great

Candlestick Park has had it's shares of memorable games.  Today's epic victory by the 49ers only added to the legacy that is Candlestick.  Gonna miss that venue when San Francisco plays in Santa Clara in 2015.    

Since: Feb 4, 2009
Posted on: January 14, 2012 10:54 pm

49ers win over Saints an all-time great

Way to go SF 49ers and beating New Orleans Saints in a great game at Candlestick Park.36-32 win was a great game for the ones that were at the game and the ones who saw the game on FOX was great.And know The 49ers have to wait to meet either Green Bay Packers or NY Giants in the NFC Championship Game Next Week on Sunday Jan 22/2012.

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