Saints Vs. 49ers, NFL Playoffs: Jimmy Graham Returns, But Saints Go Three And Out

The San Fransisco 49ers didn't have a terribly successful first drive, but they've managed to win a field position battle against the New Orleans Saints, thanks to punter Andy Lee and their defense. After pushing the Saints back to their own 19-yard line, the defense managed a three-and-out, forcing a punt.

Drew Brees missed Darren Sproles on a pass in the flat on first down before Christopher Ivory only managed two yards on second down. The 49ers' pass coverage on third down was perfect, forcing Brees to hold onto the ball too long. Rookie Aldon Smith, who is having a fantastic rookie season, sacked Brees to force a punt. After Ted Ginn's return, the 49ers start on their own 45-yard line, giving them a better starting position than their position when they punted the ball by 10 yards.

SI.com: Saints-49ers live boxscore

There is some good news for the Saints, despite the disappointing three-and-out. Jimmy Graham has returned to the field after apparently not suffering a concussion after all.

For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area, and for the Saints check out Canal Street Chronicles. Here's a look at the complete 2012 NFL playoffs schedule.

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