After about 50 minutes of boring football, the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints combined for one heck of a finish to open the divisional round of the 2012 NFL playoffs. It was back-and-forth throughout the final quarter as the Saints and Niners traded blows, setting up a frantic finish in San Francisco.
After New Orleans took a three-point lead with time running out, Alex Smith took the field and engineered an incredible drive, capped by an absolute bullet of a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis to give the Niners a four-point lead. With only nine seconds on the clock, New Orleans was unable to find the magic one more time, and Jim Harbaugh was through to the NFC Championship in his first season at the helm.
The latest printable NFL playoff bracket update can be found here.
The Niners will play either the Green Bay Packers or New York Giants next Sunday in the final game before the Super Bowl. The full remaining schedule can be found below.
San Francisco 49ers def. New Orleans Saints, 36-32
Saturday, Jan 14: Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots, 8:30 p.m. on CBS
Sunday, Jan. 15: Houston Texans vs. Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m. ET on CBS
Sunday, Jan. 15: New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers, 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX
Sunday, Jan. 22: AFC Championship, Denver Broncos/New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans/Baltimore Ravens at 3 p.m. ET on CBS
Sunday, Jan. 22: NFC Championship, San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants/Green Bay Packers at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX