Jeremiah: Return trips unlikely
The wild 36-32 Niners win had everything you could possibly want. Huge stakes, a raucous home crowd, tons of scoring (34 points in the fourth quarter alone), a symphony of hard hits (poor Pierre Thomas), 12,000 intense camera shots of Jim Harbaugh, The Alex Smithshank Redemption, and even a grown man sobbing uncontrollably (Vernon Davis).
Unfortunately, this instant classic has taken a back seat in history, thanks to the circumstances that immediately proceeded it. Sean Pamphilon's recording of Gregg Williams' infamous battle speech -- recorded in the Saints' team hotel the day before the game -- eventually came to represent the moment the "bounty" scandal went nuclear.
It's also now what this game is best known for ... and that's a damn shame. This was NFL football at its finest. Even one of the league's biggest scandals ever shouldn't obscure that.