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Saints 32 @ 49ers 36: Who Dat Say!?!


Well, here's your final 2011 season edition of Who Dat Say!?! Lots of stories, stats, videos, and analysis of the New Orleans Saints' 4-point loss the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round of the playoffs to sift through, on the other side of the jump.

The Saints fought valiantly and never gave up last night, but came up short in the end (we didn't even get overtime to agonize through). Whether you fault scheme or execution, you owe it to yourself to read on and get to the root of it, or at least to curse it out in the comment section (truncated properly, of course). C'mon, you'll feel better afterwards (I think).

There are no post-game quotes this time, as once again when the Saints play on the road, the home team failed to post the press conference transcripts on their team web site. If I can find them later today, I'll post them as a Fanshot.

Saints vs 49ers recap

Saints vs 49ers box score

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers - 2011 Divisional Playoffs |
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers NFL Game Center. Includes stats, highlights, recap, photos, and the NFL Gamebook pdf.

New Orleans Saints season comes to stunning end vs. 49ers |
Mike Triplett - They overcome 17-point deficit, lose in final seconds.

Saints give away chances, lose late in playoffs to 49ers |
Chris Seeman - To win their divisional playoff matchup with the New Orleans Saints, most analysts said the San Francisco 49ers would have to turn the game into a defensive-minded slugfest.

Flattened | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - Saints rally, give up late TD as 49ers move on in playoffs.

Heartache in San Francisco |
(AP) - Alex Smith matched Drew Brees big play for big play in a furious final four minutes that found the turnover-plagued Saints falling short.

New Orleans Saints Media Page |
Videos of Payton's press conference plus highlights of Graham's and Sproles's last TDs.

Saints-Niners pregame photo gallery |

Photo gallery: New Orleans Saints take on the San Francisco 49ers playoff |


From the Saints Sideline

San Francisco 49ers defense kept pressure on New Orleans Saints |
Damin Esper - Saints gained plenty of yards but were never in control.

Pierre Thomas injury looked scary for the New Orleans Saints |
James Varney - But the hit was ruled a legal one.

Saints lose Thomas early to concussion, turn Sproles loose |
Bradley Handwerger - The loss of Pierre Thomas on the first series of the game threw a devastating blow to the Saints in their bid to move into the NFC championship game.

Loss of RB Thomas hurts Saints offense | The Advocate
Sheldon Mickles - With running back Mark Ingram already on injured reserve, the New Orleans Saints offense took a big hit on its first possession of Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff game with the San Francisco 49ers.

Hard work pays for 49ers | The Advocate
Jay Paris - The New Orleans Saints got beat Saturday on a play that was installed Wednesday — kind of.

New Orleans Saints burned by blitz in final minute |
Jeff Duncan - Reckless play-calling not the only reason Saints lost, though.

Saints can't come up with the one stop they needed most |
Bradley Handwerger - One stop. When Jimmy Graham caught a pass over San Francisco’s Donta Whitner and galloped into the end zone with 1:48 to play and a three-point lead, that’s all the Saints needed.

Rapid Reaction: 49ers 36, Saints 32 - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - Thoughts on the New Orleans Saints’ 36-32 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday at Candlestick Park.

Saints put too much on Drew Brees - NFC South Blog |
Pat Y. - Drew Brees is capable of many great things. But you can’t go to the miracle well 63 times in a single game and expect it to produce every time.

Some interesting numbers from Saints-49ers game |
Doug Tatum

Grading the New Orleans Saints offense vs. the 49ers |
Doug Tatum

Grading the New Orleans Saints defense vs. the 49ers |
Doug Tatum

Grading the New Orleans Saints' special teams vs. the 49ers |
Doug Tatum

Grading the New Orleans Saints coaches vs. the 49ers |
Doug Tatum

New Orleans Saints players tweet their thanks to Who Dat Nation after loss |
What the team is saying about its loss to San Francisco 49ers.

New Orleans Saints now must face question on who to retain for next season |
Mike Triplett - Several players and coaches are free agents.


49ers Postplay

49ers advance to NFC title game, 36-32 over Saints | SF Chronicle
Eric Branch - Thirty years after Joe Montana authored a fairly memorable play in 49ers' history, Alex Smith mirrored the legend.

Alex Smith delivers a dagger to the heart | SF Chronicle
Gwen Knapp - The heir to "The Catch" deserves a stronger nickname than any of the 49ers could dream up on Saturday night.

97 seconds plenty of time for 49ers, Vernon Davis | SF Chronicle
Al Saracevic - With 97 seconds to go in Saturday's game, things looked exceedingly grim for the 49ers.

The story behind the 49ers' winning drive | SF Chronicle
Scott Ostler - After Vernon Davis caught the touchdown pass that sent the 49ers scrambling for mittens and mukluks for a trip to Green Bay, Davis ran off the field weeping like a lawn sprinkler.

Instant Classic: 49ers 36, Saints 32 |
Taylor Price - Alex Smith will remember this day for some time. So will Vernon Davis. So will the entire San Francisco 49ers roster and just about everyone who sat in the stands at Candlestick Park or was glued to the television.

Davis’ Grab Caps Memorable Day |
Taylor Price - Vernon Davis needed a moment.

Notebook: Turnovers Set the Tone |
Alex Espinoza - ‘Twas a victory unlike any other, yet, at the same time, a scene all too familiar for the 49ers faithful.

49ers Game Grades – Niner Insider Blog |
Eric Branch

Rapid Reaction: 49ers 36, Saints 32 - NFC West Blog |
Mike Sando - Thoughts after the San Francisco 49ers' 36-32 divisional playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday at Candlestick Park.

Smith, Davis deliver 49ers' epic redemption - NFC West Blog |
Mike Sando - There could be no other way for the San Francisco 49ers.


V-Roll Roll Call