Final Score: Saints 32 49ers 36
This game was more than epic. The New Orleans Saints gave the San Francisco 49ers everything they could handle and then they gave them some more.
Drew Brees broke another Saints record by having the most attempts in a playoff game...sigh. Just another day at the office.
Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Marcus Colston combined for 29 catches for 355 yards and four touchdowns, but the Saints turned the ball over five times, ultimately leading to their doom.
The 49ers defense, led by Justin Smith, was unbelievable in the game. Smith was unstoppable, and a few times he simply bull-rushed his blocker straight into Brees.
Aldon Smith was also effective, as we thought he would be, and the 49ers harassed Brees constantly throughout the contest, tallying three sacks.
Anyone still on the Alex Smith-hating bandwagon needs to have their prescription checked.
Smith "managed" to keep up with Brees and the Saints offense, scoring four touchdowns (three through the air, and one on the ground).
The touchdown run by Smith was a brilliantly conceived and executed play called by Harbaugh, and it totally caught the Saints off guard.
Vernon Davis, after being questioned all year long for a drop off in production, produced in brilliant fashion for the 49ers. He ended up with seven catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns, outplaying Jimmy Graham of the Saints.
One of the things that puzzled me throughout the game was the way the 49ers called the game on offense. Smith threw the ball 42 times, while the 49ers only ran the ball 22 times in the game.
If not for a heroic effort by the 49ers defense, the Saints would have run away with the game in the second half due to the 49ers inability to do anything on offense for much of the middle two quarters.
In the end, I guess we all learned that dominant defense still does trump dominant offense and the 49ers will be advancing to the next round, while the Saints season is over.
Thank you for following me as I covered this instant classic. It was a pleasure, and I hope you all have a fantastic evening.