Alex Smith, Vernon Davis make their own 49ers legacy

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For six seasons, Alex Smith was the No. 1 overall pick that looked like a fourth-rounder.

For his first two seasons, Vernon Davis looked like the most physically gifted tight end in the league. But he also looked like a guy who may never “get it” and become a star.

On a magical Saturday evening in San Francisco, Smith and Davis created their own 49ers history.

There is so much to talk about after this instant classic. But it’s hard not to come back to Smith and Davis combining for two touchdowns in the final two minutes to win.

Smith has a reputation as a “game manager” but he was absolutely sensational with the pressure on in the final minutes. Smith dropped a gorgeous 37-yard pass in the bucket to Davis up the sideline with 3:14 left.

That set up The Run, an Alex Smith 28-yard touchdown around the left end to give the 49ers the lead.

MDS started writing what was going to be a beautiful post about The Run as a memorable game-winner.  Until the Saints quickly scored a touchdown and Smith had to win the game again.

After the Saints score, we thought the 49ers were finally done. They had pulled off one amazing late drive; they thought they won and now had to do it again. Nothing about their offensive performance all day indicated they could do it so quickly.

Smith did it again, of course. He found Davis for a 47-yard gain to set up the 14-yard game-winner with nine seconds left that reminded us so much of the T.O.’s playoff moment in San Francisco.  Davis finished 180 yards and two scores.

“I want to see all good things happen to [Smith] because he’s a warrior,” Davis said after the game.

These weren’t “game manager” throws. They were perfectly thrown gutsy tosses into small windows. The 49ers had a chance to play for the tie at the end of the game. Instead, they played aggressively like they did all afternoon.

The 49ers drafted Alex Smith first overall in 2005. Since then, Smith has seen two contracts, three head coaches, three personnel chiefs, and six offensive coordinators. The team drafted Davis eighth overall the following year.

It took a great head coach, a lot of patience, and a lot of perseverance from Smith to finally get to this moment.

Smith-to-Davis may not quite be Montana-to-Clark, but this generation of 49ers accomplished something special on Saturday.

99 responses to “Alex Smith, Vernon Davis make their own 49ers legacy

  1. 49’er Fans, you can say what you want, but you owe the Vernon Davis you see playing for you today to Coach Singletary and his, “Cannot play with them, cannot win with them, cannot coach with them. Can’t do it. I want winners. I want people who want to win…”

    Because of that man holding Davis accountable he became the beast he should have been from the beginning and not the primadonna that he could have been if not for him.

    Great game today.

  2. Smith really surprised me today. Played well and was clutch at the end. Gotta give him credit. Davis is a top 5 TE easily in this league. Huge threat

  3. Now what you got to say ESPN. You gave the 49ers no chance to win. No Respect at all. Keep bad mouthing us. Faithful we back. Go 49ers.

  4. I think we also need a shout out to Harbrough and his balls of steel…. Calling an Alex Smith QB bootleg run on 3rd and 7 with the game on the line? That is some serious out of the box thinking

  5. Sun risen in the E yet? Y’all so far ahead of the left coast better not let your pundits get seen with the pants round your ankles…!

  6. All week we heard about how the 49ers had no chance. Alex Smith vs. Drew Brees. The Saints amazing offense was supposed to be too much. They were even favored by 4 on the road!

    What a great game from both teams!

    The Niners player their type of game, and Alex Smith came through. It’s been a long drought…and I can safely say…We’re back, baby!!!

  7. nbcstinks says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:14 PM
    A playoff win is hardly a legacy.

    ———————————-

    If you lived in the bay area, you would understand how big of a win this was for Alex and Vernon.

    Long, long time comin’…

  8. There goes the “Experts” theory on a great offense always beats a great run game and a great defense in the playoffs.

    And the other brilliant theory of RB’s are easily replaceable. The Saints run game vanished without Pierre Thomas. Oh, and yeah, how valuable was Frank Gore? Think he’s easily replaceable…… I Think not. Alex Smith was horrible half of the game (2nd and 3rd quarter). But he produced when is counted and you’ve got to give him credit for that.

  9. beastson says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:08 PM
    Hey Peyton, next season you better call Harbaugh first!
    ——————————————

    Why would Peyton Manning call Harbaugh?

  10. Smith has been good all year. He’s not a game manager, game manager’s DO NOT win games in the 4th quarter which I have watched Smith do multiple times this year.

    Just because the guy doesn’t put up Aaron Rodgers numbers every week doesn’t mean he isn’t playing well.

    I blame the Madden games for those silly expectations.

  11. Here’s hoping double G’s is on his way out to coach STL’s D. My dog could have done a better job than Gregg ‘the second G stands for Genius’ Williams.

  12. Alex made a big step towards “monkey off his back”. He kept fighting, made big plays and threw well. His TD run! He was like Alien. I am so impressed, he rose to the occasion. Harbaugh outcoached Peyton, can anyone deny this?

  13. No doubting who the class of the bay area is, as if there was a doubt to begin with.

    With all that said, this is sweet karmic justice for that POS Brees, and the way he disrespected all veteran players during the lock-out.

    All of those passing records are watered down, because all the Aints do is throw the rock. 60+ attempts? Ridiculous. And yeah, they’re back to being the Aints. No more gift Super Bowls for the worst franchise in league history.

  14. Great game our playmakers stepped up when needed. Vernon Davis beast. And I believe we had the 3 smiths ballin as well the rook Aldon, the cowboy Justin and the game manager Alex. Wait clutch Alex that’s right that sounds better.
    #bleedred&gold.

  15. Ive been a Saints fan for 20 years and that was one of the best games ive ever watched. Too bad NO came out on the short end of the stick

    To all the loyal 9ers fans: Congrats on a hard faught win. Your guys played like champs today.

    I would like to say something to all the recent jumpers on the 49ers bandwagon, but why ruin your one moment in the sun. God knows your pathetic asses need something to hang your hats on

  16. the Aints are garbage on defense…49s will get whupped next week..Alex is average…mark that down…

  17. 49ers SB was today. Have fun getting your butt spanked next week. Helped ya with 5 turnovers and still almost got beat. Packers or Giants will not let it happen again. All you guys will end up with is a lower draft pick.

  18. Davis is as good a blocking tight end as you’ll find too, this Niners team could play in an era before the flag football league Goodell has created. Keep being physical!

  19. The book has not been closed on Smith to Davis yet. Joe Montana to Dwight Clark would not have been “The Catch”, at least not as we recognize it today, if they did not go on to win the Super Bowl.

  20. dkeyser says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:29 PM
    Ive been a Saints fan for 20 years and that was one of the best games ive ever watched. Too bad NO came out on the short end of the stick

    To all the loyal 9ers fans: Congrats on a hard faught win. Your guys played like champs today.

    I would like to say something to all the recent jumpers on the 49ers bandwagon, but why ruin your one moment in the sun. God knows your pathetic asses need something to hang your hats on

    There’s nothing quite like a backhanded compliment. Gives you the guise of being the bigger man while still being a douche deep down.

  21. longdrivesaint says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:33 PM
    49ers SB was today. Have fun getting your butt spanked next week. Helped ya with 5 turnovers and still almost got beat. Packers or Giants will not let it happen again. All you guys will end up with is a lower draft pick.

    C’mon give this team some credit, they beat us. Stop being a sore loser, your starting to act like a Falcon fan or some fan whose team isn’t playing today or tomorrow.

  22. Vernon Davis is a quality receiver. Michael Crabtree maybe. But otherwise Alex Smith’s receivers are way below average. Writers and sour ass posters tend to ignore this and blame it all on Smith. Happy that he showed well today, and hope the Niners get some receivers, especially someone with a little speed.

  23. Since the Saints Bandwagon fans only started following football since 2006, no wonder they were confused when the announcer kept referring to this called The Catch. “by golly, he meant to say who dat right. who dat! the catch? what a stooooopid chant.”

  24. 49ers SB was today. Have fun getting your butt spanked next week. Helped ya with 5 turnovers and still almost got beat. Packers or Giants will not let it happen again. All you guys will end up with is a lower draft pick.
    ——–
    Loser. Enjoy early offseason.

  25. I remember defending Alex Smith after he was immediately labeled a bust after the 2005 season. Glad to see him prove to all of the doubters that he is a talented quarterback, even if he doesn’t throw for 5000 yards or 40 touchdowns.

  26. Why didn’t Stephen Ross make a play for Jim Harbaugh last year. So what if he already had a coach. Should have gone behind Sparano’s back, flown across the country in the dead of night, and offered Harbaugh the job. It would have worked perfectly.How could it not?

  27. I’ve bagged on Alex Smith this year, and even going into this game, but WOW, he came up huge today. Gotta give credit where credit is due, he made some game changing throws today, especially on those final drives. Big strides today for Alex Smith.

  28. Thank you, 49ers! Not even dirty plays from the Saints and blown/b.s. calls could stop the 49ers from winning! Who’s that, Saints? Who’s that?

  29. Not a fan of either team but what a great game! Oh and Aints fans calling the 49ers pathetic?? Really?? Last time I checked it was 5 – 1, just sayin.

  30. @reggiebush25 says:

    so now its next week? we’ve been hearing this all year. where is the guy that said only the 9er fans think we had a chance today?

  31. Amazing game. Saints offense is ridiculous. Next week is going to be amazing.

    For Saints fan who want to take this away by talking jibberish… please retire to your small hole of depression and disbelief. Move on.

    @iamwhodat great game man. I was nervous the WHOLE game. Even when up 17.. the Saints are scary.

    1 more to the SB baby!!!!

    The Smiths have arrived…

  32. brunnerjam says:Jan 14, 2012 9:44 PM

    I remember defending Alex Smith after he was immediately labeled a bust after the 2005 season. Glad to see him prove to all of the doubters that he is a talented quarterback, even if he doesn’t throw for 5000 yards or 40 touchdowns.
    ——————————————————-
    Yeah you’re a real visionary and trendsetter. Did you continue to defend him after the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons as well when he was still not living up to the billing? Nobody cares when an anonymous fan claims on the internet “I knew it all along, before anyone else!”.

    In any case I have nothing against Smith, he played good today and got it done, exceeding expectations (and previous performances). That said, the word “legacy” is a bit premature.

  33. I really can’t stand the 49ers being a Raiders fan. This game made me sick to my stomach.

    BUT, how can you not give it up to Alex Smith and the rest of that team? Smith is only a starting QB in this league because of the lockout and he took advantage of what could have possibly been his last shot at being a starter. I have spent years laughing at how horrible he was and how they kept sticking with him.

    Tonight, I tip my hat to the man. To someone who chose to come back to the 49ers and finish what he started. Hell of a game by the man. Here’s hoping he gets the match-up with Rodgers.

  34. “dirtyjersey9er says: Jan 14, 2012 9:47 PM
    Alex Smith beat when Frank Gore was shut down?”

    You mean the one where Manningham dropped the tying TD pass and Bradshaw was out? And even then San Fran barely won.

  35. binarybulge says:Jan 14, 2012 9:39 PM

    dkeyser says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:29 PM
    Ive been a Saints fan for 20 years and that was one of the best games ive ever watched. Too bad NO came out on the short end of the stick

    To all the loyal 9ers fans: Congrats on a hard faught win. Your guys played like champs today.

    I would like to say something to all the recent jumpers on the 49ers bandwagon, but why ruin your one moment in the sun. God knows your pathetic asses need something to hang your hats on

    There’s nothing quite like a backhanded compliment. Gives you the guise of being the bigger man while still being a douche deep down.
    ——————————————————–
    Wasnt a backhanded compliment, smart guy. It was a compliment to all the fans of San Fran that have stuck with the team that hasnt had a winning season in 10 years… BUTT the last few days the 49er fans have been jumping out of the woodwork. I have been coming to this site for a long time and the sudden increase of 49ers fans is astounding… So read into it however you wish, it gives you the guise of knowing what you are talking about when you actually are clueless

  36. iamwhodat says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:39 PM
    longdrivesaint says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:33 PM
    49ers SB was today. Have fun getting your butt spanked next week. Helped ya with 5 turnovers and still almost got beat. Packers or Giants will not let it happen again. All you guys will end up with is a lower draft pick.
    iamwhodat says:
    C’mon give this team some credit, they beat us. Stop being a sore loser, your starting to act like a Falcon fan or some fan whose team isn’t playing today or tomorrow.

    Jan 14, 2012 9:39 PM —————————————
    I’ll say what I think and that is they won’t win next week. Yeah they made some plays, but we handed them this game. Count em 5 turnovers. The first one was on a helmet to helmet hit at the 5 yd line that a ref was right there. No I am not sounding like a Failcons, just stating a fact.

  37. Yeah you’re a real visionary and trendsetter. Did you continue to defend him after the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons as well when he was still not living up to the billing? Nobody cares when an anonymous fan claims on the internet “I knew it all along, before anyone else!”.

    In any case I have nothing against Smith, he played good today and got it done, exceeding expectations (and previous performances). That said, the word “legacy” is a bit premature.
    ___________________________________

    Yes, I did defend Smith even after that, as he was obviously never the 49ers biggest problem. My point is not to have claim to have ‘known it all along’ but rather that far too many fans are quick to write off ROOKIES as being useless or busts. Sorry if my words pissed you off so much, I’m just happy for the guy.

  38. I can’t believe the Saints had no penalties in this game….I clearly saw Bushrod holding J. Smith at least 3 times.

  39. tdk24 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:37 PM
    1 game does not remove the loser tag.

    —————

    Correct but 14 wins this season does. I’ll resist quoting Charlie Sheen here. You do comprehend that the 9er franchise owns 5 Lombardi’s don’t you? Moreover they’ve never lost a Superbowl game. I mean c’mon it’s not like the their the Lions or something.

    To the true Saints fans who get it: congrats on a great season and how fortunate you are to have watched a record setting offense this season. If the 9ers had your offensive proficiency, they would be 17-0.

    Great game. Both teams battled their hearts out and the 9ers made the plays when it mattered most. The refs didn’t meddle in the game and I for one am glad.

  40. This is my last post of the season….As a long time Saints fan, I think Ive seen this happen at Candlestick before… Saints score to take the led then here come #16…. Game ova! Memories… Wow! I’m still amazed. Wait to go Alex Smith, way to silence your critics! My Saints will be back next season and remember this… the Superbowl is in the Dome for ’13, talk about motivation to make history.

  41. tdk24 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:37 PM

    1 game does not remove the loser tag.

    – – – – –

    The 49ers have now played 6 of the other 11 playoff teams…and beat 5 of them! FIVE!

    I think that removes the loser tag.

  42. dondada10 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 10:14 PM
    @1972wasalongtimeago , Ross did make an attempt for Harbaugh. He wanted to stay on the West Coast.
    ———————————————-

    Having a hard time picking up on message board sarcasm?

  43. Wow, hard to believe Davis didn’t thrive under a coach who pulls his pants down at halftime as a motivational tool. Good to see Smith and Davis thrive under a real coach, they’ve earned it.

  44. Bitter Saints fans are hilarious, are you reading some of these posts???

    You guys got “knocked out” again, don’t know what I mean, just ask Pierre Thomas!

    Beast Mode Trends
    2011= Lynch goes Beast Mode
    2012= Davis goes Beast Mode
    2013= ?

  45. Holy cow, what a closing 4 minutes !!

    Now I have two teams I’m concerned about. (I would have preferred to stay focused on being exclusively preoccupied with the Giants until tomorrow evening.)

    So … are the 49’s going to rent a practice field next week up in Wisconsin or someplace else not far from the Canadian border …. or …. is there a football field-sized building in California with an outstanding air conditioning system?

  46. that’s one of the best games i’ve seen all year. several of you 9er fans were all over it too, throughout the week leading up to this. some of ya’ll were so correct it is scary. i said a few days ago that the 9ers can’t win if they can’t put up plus 30. they won and they were awesome.

  47. This was a game for the ages. When the game was 17-0, I think everyone in my house felt uneasy. You just had that sinking feeling that the Saints could roll off 3 TDs like nothing.

    I tell you what, both Whitner and Dashon came to play today. Carlos Rogers had a huge pass defended when it looked like there was a for sure TD. That was the best the secondary has looked all year. Yet, Brees still get’s 400+ yards with 40 completetions (insane!)

    As a life long fan, if you were to tell me that Alex Smith would lead the team to not one, but two lead changing drives withing 5 minutes, I would of asked you if you were on an illegal substance?

    I’ve been more on even keel with Smith, was never into the “We want Carr” thing last year, but wasn’t going out there to say he was on anything close to an “Elite” level. It was good to see him and Davis take their moment and run with it. Oh, and Joe Staley on the pull to the play side on the Alex Smith TD was a thing of beauty.

    Good season to the Saints, it was a close hard fought battle like I thought it would be. Just more points scored that I thought if SF were to win.

  48. longdrivesaint says:
    Jan 14, 2012 9:33 PM
    49ers SB was today. Have fun getting your butt spanked next week. Helped ya with 5 turnovers and still almost got beat. Packers or Giants will not let it happen again. All you guys will end up with is a lower draft pick.
    ————————————————
    I guarantee you that the NFL is praying that the actual SB ia as good a game as today’s was. This will go down as the game of the playoffs. Hard to beat it.

    9ers will also leave this season knowing that the lowly NFC West knock the Godlike Saints out of the playoffs two years running. How are them apples?

  49. This glorious moment may never have happened if former Coach Mike Singletary had not made a fool of himself by pulling his pants down in the 49er locker room last season.

  50. Great game by the Saints. Brees is a class act, as are many of u Saints fans. To all the haters saying next week will be the 49ers last game this year… keep saying it, if u r not right next week, u will be soon (Feb 5th ?)

  51. I credit Harbaugh for inspiring simply amazing play. Saints played great. Good enough to win most games. This is the kind of game that keeps me watching playoff football. Nobody should hang their head, or disparage the other team after this kind of game.

  52. It was joetoronto! “does anyone, other than 49er fans, actually give the 49ers any chance in this game”….. paging joetoronto

  53. Happy for the 9ers. Never a huge fan of them but wanted them to do well in the post season. Glad to see Davis humbled by the game, He always seemed to have such great talent but had such a poor attitude. I’m not saying Singletary is or was a great coach for them but I think having him there with some discipline helped him. Glad to see the 9ers do well.

    -also as a side note good to see the saints have almost as many turnovers as my vikes had in the Championship 09 game and still be in the game at the end…and lose. sucks don’t it? haha just kidding, but seriously, Saints & 9ers tonight was a good game

  54. And by the way, the fumble on the 2. That was a legit hit. The wide out had plenty of time to react to the guy coming to hit him. There is no penalty for two players lowering their shoulders and running into eachother and hitting head first.

    That being said…. I did feel bad for the Wide out, forget who it was. Cuz he honestly got wiped out as soon as they hit. Then everyone piles on top to get the ball. Not something that helps with a hit like that. But it was a clean hit. He wasn’t defenseless. bottom line.

  55. smurky28 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 11:41 PM
    Beast Mode Trends
    2011= Lynch goes Beast Mode
    2012= Davis goes Beast Mode
    2013= ?

    Let’s change it to “NFC West” beast mode, for kicks.

    2013= Larry Fitzgerald goes Beast Mode
    2014= Steven Jackson goes Beast Mode

  56. As a Packers fan who has suffered a loss similar to this to the 49ers (Young to Owens) i feel for the Saints fans but i really was happy for Alex Smith. I am sure more than anyone he was disappointed with some of those seasons he had. He is the guy they are saying your a “bust” about and i am sure it hurt. So while i do hope his season ends next week if the Packers win tomorrow. He is a guy I’ll be cheering for.

    As for the game itself. That was one heck of an ending. I personally thought the 49ers were done after that Jimmy Graham TD, but the 49ers showed alot of heart.

    Enjoy your win 49ers. Hope to see you guys in GB next week.

  57. Not a fan of either team.

    Great game from both. One thing I don’t understand is all the Niner fans saying how terrible the Saints and Drew Brees are. Can you not figure out that your team had to play the game of the year to beat them? If they’re so terrible – what does that say about your team?

    Game ball to the Niner secondary. They won this game. Brees is one of the very best (regardless of what the Niner fans say) and he had nowhere to throw the ball.

  58. QBs make their reps in the last few minutes of games like this. Smith has now officially made his rep.

    Next week he will be asked this question – what have you done for me lately?

    Which is as it should be.

  59. If YOU think that was a 49ner win- tell 49ners to repeat it anytime in the future…just like Broncos overtime win- Somebody elses game and those teams can’t play it again.
    Great to see New Orleans lose.

  60. On the Saints’ fumble inside the 5y line on their opening drive, that was a hard helmet to helmet hit and the replays showed it clearly.

    When is that OK and when isn’t it OK?

  61. “Great to see New Orleans lose.”

    Why is that? Are you that pathetic that you get pleasure from others’ loss? I’m a 49er fan but I would not say it was great to see the Saints lose.

    It was GREAT to see the 49ers win!

  62. @tg1896

    I haven’t read every comment, but what Niners fans are saying “Brees is terrible?”

  63. smurky28 says:
    Jan 14, 2012 11:41 PM
    Bitter Saints fans are hilarious, are you reading some of these posts???

    You guys got “knocked out” again, don’t know what I mean, just ask Pierre Thomas!

    Beast Mode Trends
    2011= Lynch goes Beast Mode
    2012= Davis goes Beast Mode
    2013= Saints go Beast Mode and win SB in Super Bowl as the first to ever win it all at home ………….
    FIFY……………………………Fool !!!!!

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