With four lead changes in the last four minutes of the game, Saturday’s 36-32 San Francisco 49ers victory over the New Orleans Saints was the NFL at its best; unless you like defense.
Joe Montana and Dwight Clark had “The Catch.” Steve Young and Terrell Owens had “The Catch II.” Now Alex Smith and Vernon Davis added another epic play to the 49ers’ storied history: “The Grab.”
You’ve got to call it “The Grab,’ “ said Davis after the game. “We were down. I had to make it happen to take my teammates where we want to go.”
If you’re a Saints fan, all you can think about today is the five turnovers and what could have been if that number was 0,1,2,3 or even 4. If you’re a 49ers fan however, you have to think that this may be the start of something special. What Jim Harbaugh has been able to do with this team is nothing short of remarkable.
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And how about Alex Smith? 24 of 42 for 299-yards and 3 TDs in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game was his coming out party. To be honest, it was more impressive than Drew Brees’ 40 for 63 for 462-yards with 4TDs and 2 INTs. And Smith’s 28-yard QB sweep with 2:11 left to go in the game was one of the great play calls, and great executed plays of all time. The 49ers had to be saving that play all year for just the right moment. Had the Saints not scored after that followed by the 49ers answering with, “The Grab,” that scamper would have been given its own name with its own place in San Francisco history. In my mind, for the time and circumstances at hand, “The San Francisco Sweep” was one of the best plays I’ve seen on any level.
Tough out for Drew Brees and the Saints. The offense is great but they they have to be able to stop someone in crunch time. They can’t let a team come down the field on them, twice with the game on the line, if they want to be a championship team.
I just love little Darren Sproles, all 5’ 6” of him. I was all over him from the get-go this season as a Fantasy Football player in PPR leagues and he set a record, leading the league with 2,696 all purpose yards. Mighty Mite had 15-catches for 119-yards and a 44-yard TD in this one; NICE!
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And how about the tight ends in this game. The best tight end in the league not playing for the New England Patriots (who arguably have number’s 1 & 2 in Rob Gronkowsi and Aaron Hernandez) has to be either Jimmy Graham or Vernon Davis. I can’t remember a period where the TE position dominated the receiving game as much as it does now. They block like lineman, catch like wideouts and run like running backs. TE’s now rule in between the hash marks making many wide receivers decoys at best and obsolete at worst.
Note: Weather may be a factor in the Giants vs. 49ers NFC Championship Game next Sunday. The game is scheduled for 6:30pm ET and a special weather statement already has been issued for San Francisco, with heavy rain and high winds in the forecast for the second half of the coming week. The playing surface in Candlestick Park is legendary for having water table problems during football season, and this could prove to be a major factor in the game.
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- The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.