San Francisco 49ers: Top 20 games in franchise history

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Alex Smith to Vernon Davis Beats New Orleans Saints

Similarly to how the previous game on our list could be seen as the beginning of an impressive run, the 49ers other large win over the New Orleans Saints signified the beginning of an entirely different stretch.

The 49ers had been impressive in their first year under new head coach Jim Harbaugh, but the inexperience of the team was still a worry moving into the playoffs. The New Orleans Saints showed up to Candlestick on Saturday, January 13, 2012 for a NFC Divisional Playoff matchup against the 49ers.

The game saw the 49ers open up a 14-point lead before leading 17-14 at halftime. The third quarter remained quiet for both offenses but the fourth quarter was an absolute explosion. The teams traded scores including an Alex Smith 28-yard rushing touchdown around the left end with tackle Joe Staley leading the way.

With just moments left in the game, and the 49ers trailing, Alex Smith delivered a perfect throw to Vernon Davis at the goal line on a play later announced as “Vernon Post”. The catch would go on to be ranked towards the top 49er plays of all time.

The 49ers won the game 36-32 and were headed to the NFC Championship for the first time in over a decade.

Vernon Davis led the 49ers with 180 receiving yards and had established himself as a premiere receiving threat at tight end. The new 49ers had officially arrived.

Next: Steve Young's Brutal Farewell