Posted January 14, 2012 on
AP on Fox
New Orleans Saints
San Francisco 49ers
New York Giants
Green Bay Packers
Drew Brees overcame five New Orleans turnovers and a 17-point deficit to put the Saints on the brink of their first road playoff victory in franchise history.
He could only watch as Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers stole it away in the closing seconds, ending the Saints' chances at another Super Bowl run.
Brees capped his record-setting season by throwing for 462 yards and four touchdowns, throwing two go-ahead strikes in the final 5 minutes only to see the 49ers rally for a 36-32 playoff victory Saturday.
''It stings right now because of the expectation level that we had coming into this tournament and understanding that if we win here we're into the NFC championship game and anything can happen,'' Brees said. ''That's tough. Tough to swallow at this point.''
Brees threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles to give the Saints (14-4) their first lead of the game with 4:02 to play. He then answered Smith's 28-yard touchd...
BEST OF MAXIM
Alex Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left just after Drew Brees had put the high-powered Saints ahead, and the resurgent San Francisco 49ers capitalized on five New Orleans turnovers for a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory Saturday.
Since both the New Orleans Saints and the San Francisco 49ers kept battling back and forth throughout the whole game, several plays could have been turning points in the game, until the other team came back with a great play of their own. This article examines several of the big plays that took place during this exciting playoff matchup.
The first potential turning point play cameâ...
The 49ers signed Alex Smith to an affordable one-year contract before the year with some incentives that werenât necessarily âlikely to be earned.â But the team is happy he earned them. ESPNâs Adam Schefter reports that Smith will get a $1 million bonus for leading the 49ers to the playoffs. The terms of the bonus:âŚ
In one triumphant afternoon, playoff first-timer Alex Smith joined a pair of 49ers Hall of Fame quarterbacks with his own indelible postseason moment. Joe Montana had ''The Catch.'' Steve Young had ''The Catch II.'' Now, Smith added another epic play to the 49ers' storied history: ''The Grab.''
The Saints havenât lost a game since the day before Halloween, but Alex Smith and Vernon Davis scared the pants off of them.
Powered by Smith, who threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns and another on the ground, the 49ers defeated the Saints 36-32.
TD passes to Vernon Davis (seven catches, 180 cards) and Michael Crabree [four catches, 25 yards] and a David Ackers field...
If there's one thing the NFLÂ does better than just about everyone else in the world, it is hype.
There's no story too small for the league to turn into a media firestorm and they've gotten so good at stoking the fires that it sometimes seems like the off-season generates more attention than the games themselves. Given this ability, it's a bit odd that it has felt...
Congratulations, Tom Brady! You just knocked Tim Tebow out of the playoffs and saved us an additional week of soft focus Rick Reilly columns about how Tebow is a good quarterback but an even BETTER human being. That's the good news. The bad news is that you are the last man standing when it comes to elite QBs carrying lousy defenses.
There were three teams in the divisional...
Late-game heroics, stingy defenses and blowouts highlighted this weekend's divisional playoff matchups.
49ers beat Saints 36-32
The Saints havenât lost a game since the day before Halloween, but a four touchdown night from quarterback Alex Smith and 180 yards receiving from Vernon Davis was downright scary. While Drew Brees (458 passing yards, four TDs) had success against...