NFL in San Francisco is back with 49ers run

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NFL in San Francisco is back with 49ers run

SAN FRANCISCO, (BDCI) – The 49ers survived the game against the New Orleans Saints with a thrilling 36-32 divisional playoff victory Saturday in Candlestick Park. The team played a punishing defense most of the day and forced five turnovers.
Playoff first-timer Alex Smith joined a couple 49er Hall of Fame quarterbacks – messieurs Montana and Young – with his own lasting postseason moment.
Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left in the game to put the team ahead once and for all in a back-and-forth fourth quarter tussle. This happened just after Drew Brees had put the Saints ahead with his own come-from-behind drive engineering.
But the resurgent 49ers capitalized on the New Orleans turnovers and controlled their own destiny, getting into an NFL championship game for the first time in 15 years.
The Niners are back in the NFC title game after making it there 10 times from 1981-97. “We deserve this,” running back Frank Gore said afterward. “We’ve been down for a long time.”
The NFC West champion 49ers has eight players who have been to the postseason previously. One is little-used wide receiver Brett Swain, and another is long snapper Brian Jennings. Jennings is the only player still around from the 49ers’ 2002-03 playoff season, when San Francisco rallied to stun the Giants, 39-38 in a wild card game that season.
Still another is more known – record-setting kicker David Akers, who did it for his former team the Philadelphia Eagles and more than once.
The 49ers pulled off another last-second win in a season full of them. San Francisco came from behind for five victories during regular season, four on the road.
Smith helped the Niners become the first team in NFL history to score two lead-changing touchdowns in the final 3 minutes to win a playoff game, according to STATS LLC.
The Niners are 3-point favorites at home versus the Giants. In standard betting circles, such a spread at home denotes an even game, two teams that would be a “pick’em” on a neutral field.
While the New York Giants may make adjustments to try and crack the code of the 49ers second ranked defense in terms of points allowed per game, the men in red and gold plan to stick with what got them this far.
By: Jandra Bell
Source: Fox Sports
Photo courtesy of: Bleacher Report
Image: SF Gate
16 January 2012, 5:03pm PST
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