The 49ers got the last laugh after flopping on the final play of regulation to prevent a Saints TD and force overtime – which they won.
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With the game tied and less than :10 left on the game clock, Saints QB Drew Brees threw a Hail Mary in the direction of big TE Jimmy Graham. Using his Calvin Johnson-like frame, he hauled in the ball with 0:00 left on the clock – but it was called back for Offensive Pass Interference and sent into OT. Apparently Graham gave just a slight nudge to 49ers CB Perrish Cox but Cox played it so well by falling to the ground that the officials threw the OPI flag. In OT the 49ers got the game winning field goal, stealing a win in the Superdome in the process.
The 49ers were fortunate enough to save themselves from a 3-game losing streak with the win, but narrow wins like that don’t say much about the team’s potential as a playoff team or even a Superbowl contender – even if the remaining schedule is relatively soft for the rest of the way. The 49ers got the win and may have saved their season, but will it be enough to make them a real threat?
Here are the five biggest winners from Week 10 of the NFL season:
New England Patriots – Hard to remember the last time a team got so much help in the division title race without even playing a game. Despite sitting at home for a bye week the Patriots got a lot of cushion in the AFC East title race after the Bills and Dolphins both collapsed late, giving the Week 1 cellar dweller a two-game cushion in the title race – not that they even needed it.
New York Jets – The playoffs may be out of reach but the New York Jets finally snapped their ugly 8-game losing streak to shock the football world with a win over the Steelers – and a dominating win it was even if the scoreboard doesn’t reflect that. The Jets may be out of the playoffs but head coach Rex Ryan is still one of the best motivators in football.
Green Bay Packers – After torching the Bears repeatedly in the first half to the tune of 6 TDs, the Packers are on quite a roll. The Green Bay-Detroit rematch in Lambeau Field will be one of the most anticipated games of the season.
Dallas Cowboys – It may have been the Jaguars but the Cowboys easily dispatched their foes with a now-healthy Tony Romo back in the lineup. And with a bye-week to rest up and prevent aggravation, the Cowboys are riding high as they fight neck-and-neck with the Eagles for control of the NFC East.
San Francisco 49ers – A win is a win but this is not the kind of win that gets a team to rally around and make a playoff run. They stole that win with the Perrish Cox flop and bad wins like that have a habit of hiding the flaws of embattled teams. Nonetheless, they are back above .500 with a pair of easy NFC East games on the menu before a home game against the Seahawks.