They say to make the playoffs is to get a ticket to the dance. And to follow an appropriate motto, there’s another saying that goes "dance with the one you brought."
"We’re going to play our game," Alex Smith said. "We’re not going to be somebody we’re not."
The statement that Saturday’s impending game at Candlestick Park is the biggest of the 49ers quarterback’s football life is as unoriginal as it is obvious. Read More
The 49ers get a fresh start with some healthy bodies as they will be playing their first playoff game since 2002 on Saturday against the New Orleans Saints.
They face a quarterback in Drew Brees that broke Dan Marino’s single-season passing yards record in Week 16. They face an offense that put up 626 yards against the Detroit Lions in the wild-card round.
The Saints score an average of 34.2 points per game.
Has it been said this offense is good? Read More
If you watched the New Orleans Saints take apart the Detroit Lions at the Superdome, you know why it was so important that the 49ers play them at Candlestick Park.
The Saints have been unbeatable at home this season, playing on artificial turf in a domed stadium before adoring fans who fill the stadium with ear-splitting noise. Read More
This is what makes it appear hopeless for the 49ers in the NFC divisional playoff game Saturday at the ’Stick. Their opponent, the New Orleans Saints, scored 45 points each of their past three games, including Saturday’s wild-card win over the Detroit Lions.
This is what makes it appear less than hopeless for the Niners: The Saints never have won a road playoff game.
On ESPN, Merrill Hoge called it a classic, "offense against defense." Read More
Call it the remnants of five previous seasons that have ended in disappointment, but Vernon Davis — San Francisco’s premier tight end of six years — has never quite been able to stomach the simple idea of watching the NFL playoffs.
“I was so upset that we didn’t make it,” he said, of all of his previous seasons. “I just couldn’t watch it.”
But Saturday, Davis, along with many of his teammates, did watch the playoffs, for it can’t hurt to get a look at a possible playoff opponent. Read More
Don’t downplay these 49ers. It’s safe to dream a little bigger.
Sure, simply reaching the playoffs serves as a huge step forward based on their play in recent years, but the 49ers have compiled a 2011 résumé that gives them as many — or more — reasons to reach the Super Bowl as any of their NFC counterparts.
The Green Bay Packers may feature quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the New Orleans Saints may boast quarterback Drew Brees — one of whom figures to be the NFL’s Most Valuable Player this season — but the 49ers carry with them the conference’s best defense. Read More
Santa Clara officials are scheduled to vote next week on a deal over parking for the planned $1 billion 49ers stadium that would clear one of the last remaining hurdles to the project. Read More
The 49ers had three defensive players and two specialists, placing an NFL-best five on The Associated Press’ All-Pro team Friday.
Linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and defensive tackle Justin Smith along with punter Andy Lee and record-setting kicker David Akers were voted onto the honor squad. Smith also received votes at defensive end, finish third and missing All-Pro status at a second spot. A panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL votes on the team. Read More
In all but three contests this season, the 49ers have bested opponents with a peculiar — yet familiar — combination.
The 2000 Super Bowl champ Baltimore Ravens continue to serve as evidence that a low-scoring team can still win via stout defensive play. And where San Francisco has struggled at times offensively, its defense, to put it bluntly, has been dominant.
It’s a defense drenched with Pro Bowlers and standout rookies. And inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman is neither a rookie nor a Pro Bowler, though his numbers this year suggests he deserves to be the latter. Read More
The 49ers have gone beyond expectations and predictions. Who imagined, after eight consecutive losing seasons, they’d finish the regular season with the second-best record in the NFL? Who dared think they would have the top defense against the rush?
A bye in the first round of the playoffs? That’s for teams like the old Niners or the new Packers, except these Niners reached that pinnacle — and it is a pinnacle as well as an advantage — while the Saints and Steelers, Super Bowl entrants the previous two years, did not. Read More