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49ers' toughness shines through

Playoff thriller was defining moment for San Francisco, which left Saints battered

Originally Published: January 14, 2012
By Jeffri Chadiha | ESPN.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- There are clearly defined moments in the playoffs for any team that is about to go on a Super Bowl run.

The Green Bay Packers had theirs in Atlanta last season, when they whipped the top-seeded Falcons in a divisional playoff win. The New York Giants had a similar moment four years ago, as they stormed into Green Bay and upset the Packers in the 2007 NFC title game.

Now, after beating New Orleans 36-32 in Saturday's NFC divisional game, the San Francisco 49ers just ...

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