Alex Smith Launches Game-Winning Strike, 49ers Edge Saints
NFL Divisional Playoffs
San Francisco, CA
Alex Smith threw 24-for-42 for 299 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning strike to Vernon Davis in the winding seconds of the game, and the San Francisco 49ers survived the New Orleans Saints, 36-32 Saturday in their NFC divisional playoff showdown at Candlestick Park.
Smith pulled off his best playoff performance in his seven-year NFL career, beating Saints ace quarterback Drew Brees in a wild shootout down the stretch of one of the best playoff games in recent memory.
Brees went 40-for-63 for 462 yards with four touchdowns and put the Saints in a position to win the game after trailing by 17-points early on.
The Saints quarterback launched a 66-yard TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham, giving his team a 32-29 lead with 01:37 minute left on the clock.
Unfortunately for the Saints, the 49ers came through with a late drive and Smith capped it with a 14-yard pass to Davis with 9 seconds remaining in the game.
After lording on top of the NFC West with a 14-3 record, first-year coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers punched their ticket to the NFC Championship game, where they can either face the New York Giants or the Green Bay Packers.
The Saints finished a milestone season that saw Brees breaking several passing records, including Dan Marino's 27 year-old record for most passing yards in one season (5,476 yards).
49ers Top Saints With Last-minute TD
- Eli Manning Brilliant: Giants Oust Top-Seeded Packers
- Flacco Lifts Ravens Past Mistake-Prone Texans
- Alex Smith Launches Game-Winning Strike, 49ers Edge Saints
- Jets Legend Joe Namath Stumped On Sparano Hiring
- Final Eight Take Center Stage In Divisional Playoffs
- Wild Card Weekend: A Look Back
- Tebow, Broncos Stun Steelers in Overtime
- Giants Too Much for Falcons, Move On to Face Packers
- Foster's Two TDs Power Texans Past Bengals
- Drew Brees, Saints Tame Lions
- Raiders Dismiss Head Coach Hue Jackson
- LaDainian Tomlinson 'Contemplating' Retirement
- Robert Griffin III Headed to NFL
- Colts Set Sights on Andrew Luck as No. 1 in NFL Draft
- Star Running Back LaMichael James Leaving Oregon for NFL
- Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Wisconsin's Ball Return For Senior Campaigns
- Browns Seek Playmaker at Number 4
- Cleveland Browns Need Plenty of Help in Rugged AFC North
- Chiefs Plan to Keep Romeo Crennel as Head Coach
- Parcells Heads Up Potential NFL Hall of Fame List
- Playoff Records, Facts, Figures and Milestones
- Regular Season Records and Milestones
- Wild Card Weekend Preview: What to Look For
- Record-Breaking Regular Season Had It All
- Super Bowl Ads Sold Out
- NFL Football Firings
- Chicago Bears Dismiss GM After Poor Finish
- Manning, Cruz Pass Giants Over Cowboys into Playoffs
- In Like Flynn: Backup QB Powers Packers Past Lions
- Vick Leads Eagles Past Redskins For Fourth Straight Victory
- Colt McCoy says he wants to stay with Browns
- Giants Defensive End Osi Umenyiora Returns to Practice
- Patriots, 49ers Rack Up Most Pro Bowlers
- AFC Pro Bowl Rosters
- 2012 NFC Pro Bowl Rosters
- All on the Line in Final Week of Regular Season
- 2011 NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17
- Packers Take Over for Cowboys as America's Team
- Blue Christmas: Brandon Jacobs Lays into Jets after Giants Win
- Victor Cruz, Ahmad Bradshaw Lead Way as Giants Take Down Jets
- Brees Sets NFL Passing Record as Saints Rip Falcons
- Packers Wrap Up Top Seed in NFC
- Chargers Quarterback Not Happy Team will Miss NFL Playoffs Again
Copyright 2012, AHN - All Rights Reserved