Smith ran for a 28-yard TD with 2:11 left and threw another scoring pass to Davis. Coach Jim Harbaugh's NFC West champions (14-3) proved that a hard-hitting, stingy defense can still win in the modern, wide-open NFL by holding off one of league's most dynamic offenses.
San Francisco triumphed in its first playoff game in nine years, moving within one win of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since capturing the proud franchise's fifth championship after the 1994 season. The Saints finish at 14-4.
Next up for the 49ers is the NFC title game against the winner of Sunday's New York Giants-Green Bay Packers matchup.