-KICKOFF COVERAGE’S: HISTORY OF THE 32 IN 32-
-SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS-
49ERS HIRE JIM HARBAUGH AS THEIR NEW HEAD COACH & HE RE-ENERGIZES THE TEAM & HELPS THEM TO A 13-3 RECORD & THE WEST TITLE, LOSE TO THE GIANTS IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP:
In February 2011, Stanford coach and former NFL QBJim Harbaugh (the brother of Ravens coach John Harbaugh) was hired as head coach. Jim immediately identified Alex Smith as his QB despite Smith being a Free Agent during the NFL Off season lockout. Days before the lockout started, Harbaugh gave Smith a copy of his playbook. During the offseason in which Coaches and players could not communicate, Alex Smith organized and lead team workouts with OL Joe Staley. Things got off to a good start when San Francisco knocked off Seattle 33–17 in week one. They lost to Dallas in week two on a miracle comeback by Tony Romo, but then beat Cincinnati 13–8. In week four, they gained an upset win in Philadelphiato start 3–1. In week five, They crushed Tampa Bay at home 48–3 on four Alex Smith TDs. With their Week 11 victory over the Arizona Cardinals (23–7), the 49ers snapped their eight-year non-winning jinx to secure a winning season. Alex Smithrewarded Jim Harbaugh with his best season yet as a 49er (They finished the 2011 regular season with a record of 13–3. This would lead them to the playoffs earning them the 1st round bye week. They would go on to beat the New Orleans Saints, but then lose to the New York Giants 20–17 after going into overtime in the NFC Championship.
NFC DIVISIONAL GAME:
Alex Smith's 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left gave San Francisco their first playoff win since 2002 at the end of a wild, back and forth final quarter which featured four lead changes in a span of 3:53. Davis’ game winning touchdown catch occurred four days after the 30th anniversary of The Catch – Joe Montana's famous touchdown pass to Dwight Clark – known as one of the most famous plays in San Francisco 49ers history. Sports writers and 49ers fans have taken to referring Davis’ catch as The Catch III. This game was voted the number 1 game of 2011 by NFL.com. With the win, the 49ers improved to 14–3 and faced the New York Giants at Candlestick Park in the NFC Championship Game.