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Davis' 73-yard TD catch gives 49ers 7-0 lead after 1st quarter of NFC title game vs. Giants
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ' Vernon Davis caught a 73-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith, and the San Francisco 49ers jumped out to a 7-0 lead over the New York Giants after the first quarter of the NFC championship game Sunday.
Davis picked up where he left off last week, when he set a playoff record for tight ends with 180 yards receiving and caught two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 9 seconds remaining in a 36-32 victory over New Orleans.
On the second play of San Francisco's second drive, Davis raced past safety Antrel Rolle and got loose down the sideline. He pulled down the pass from Smith and raced into the end zone. He then jumped up onto a camera stage and posed, drawing a personal foul for excessive celebration.
Davis appeared as if he might have stepped on the sideline, but after a review, referee Ed Hochuli said there was not indisputable evidence and ruled that the touchdown would stand.
The Giants drove to the San Francisco 34 on their next drive before stalling. Eli Manning threw an incomplete pass on third-and-1, then linebacker NaVorro Bowman stuffed Brandon Jacobs on fourth down.
The game was played in a steady downpour and with strong winds, and each team fumbled once in the opening quarter. But New York offensive lineman Kareem McKenzie recovered a fumble by Manning and San Francisco receiver Kyle Williams recovered his own fumble later in the quarter on a reverse.
The Niners were looking to make it to the Super Bowl for the first time in 17 seasons. Under rookie coach Jim Harbaugh, they won the NFC West with a 13-3 regular-season record to make the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
The Giants won their final two regular-season games to win the NFC East, then knocked off Atlanta at home and won at top-seeded Green Bay last week to make it to the conference title game.
The day got off to a bad start for the Harbaugh family, who had been hoping for a "Superbaugh" in two weeks in Indianapolis. John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens lost the AFC championship game 23-20 to the New England Patriots.