The San Francisco 49ers hosted their first NFL playoff game in nine years when they faced off against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday. At the end of the day, they were headed to their first NFC Championship Game appearance since 1997 following their 36-32 victory.
Driving the win the whole way for the Niners was their talented tight end, Vernon Davis. Davis finished the game with seven catches for 180 yards and two touchdown passes from quarterback Alex Smith, including the game-winner in the final ten seconds of the game.
The 180 receiving yards by Davis ended up being the most by a tight end in a single postseason game in NFL history. He easily trumped the old record of 166 yards, set by Kellen Winslow of the San Diego Chargers in 1982. The yardage is also the second-most receiving yards in a single postseason game in 49ers franchise history, behind only Jerry Rice, who had 215 yards in the Super Bowl in 1989 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Here is what Davis had to say about the game-winning touchdown catch at the postgame press conference:
Yes, I knew it was coming, we rehearsed it all week in practice. Alex knew right away that once I got 12, 14 yards, planted the outside foot, and looked for the ball. It was the exact same thing. It worked. I had confidence in myself and Alex. Confidence in the play.
Davis appeared emotional immediately following the touchdown. He was asked what was going through his mind.
History...history was going through my mind. It was us against history. I said to myself, ‘it's us against no and us against can't'. All those things. We managed to pull it off. It was a very emotional game, it was like a roller coaster. Very stressful for me, and as I can imagine, stressful for my teammates. Especially our defense in that last play. I knew right away that I had to step up and be a factor, help out, and I did it.
Davis certainly did make history on Saturday, in more ways than one.