Vernon lets out a scream much like we all did at the end of the game. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
So, I hear there was a football game today?
I just got home from a day at the ballpark and I don't believe I've ever been this drained. There are still two more games to win, but for right here, right now, this is the moment. This is the best moment, the best feeling right now. I can't even begin to try and provide my own recap of the game from start to finish. It really was a tail of four parts. The 49ers dominated in the first quarter, but then the Saints stormed back in the second quarter. The third quarter and into the fourth quarter was an ugly mess as neither offense could get much of anything going.
And then there were those glorious final four minutes. It was the ultimate roller-coaster of emotions. The 49ers take over with 4:02 to go and drive down to take a 29-24 lead with 2:11 to play. The Saints then drive down with relative ease and take a 32-29 lead with 1:37 to go. My heart sunk on the touchdown but Alex and Vernon Davis stepped up one last time.
On those final two drives, Alex Smith was 7/10 for 135 yards, with a passing touchdown, 28 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Vernon Davis caught three passes for 98 yards and the biggest touchdown of his career. These are two guys who have been to hell and back with the 49ers. Both have seen the lowest of lows, and now are seeing some pretty impressive highs. It was absolutely fitting to see them take the lead in winning this game today. It was an entire team effort, but for tonight, let's give a huge shoutout to Alex Smith and Vernon Davis. When the 49ers absolutely had to have big plays, these two "mighty men" made it happen.
If you want to see just how crazy the end of the game was, I've posted a little something after the jump that someone posted in the comments.
The folks at Advanced NFL Stats put together a chart called Win Probability. Basically, they track the entire game and each play adjusts who has the greater probability of winning. The Saints big drive to start the game had them looking strong, but it quickly flipped as the 49ers blew up the Saints with 14 points in the first quarter and three more early in the second quarter.
The best part of that graph is the insanity at the end. If you didn't watch the game and are hearing about this crazy ending, this graph sort of projects how crazy that ending was.
We'll have so much more about what truly was a spectacular day to be a 49ers fan. The 49ers have a big week ahead of them and we'll have plenty of coverage of today's game and next week. Tomorrow we'll have game threads for the two playoff games and we'll watch with a keen eye to see which of the Packers or Giants wins.
But for now, none of that matters. The struggles, the near heart-break, the question marks in various areas, next week's game. None of that matters for today because the 49ers won. It wasn't always pretty, but that's what makes this victory so much sweeter.
I realize Super Bowl wins mean more. I realize this is only one game in what will hopefully last a couple more games. But, given the context of the last nine years for this team, my age now (having been younger during the Super Bowl years), and my time with this blog, I don't think I've ever been happier following a 49ers game. It may be just a feeling in the moment, but who cares. I'm too damn happy. Today truly was a good day.