San Francisco's lights-out return to prime time in a 20-3 victory over the Steelers helped salvage what could have been an embarrassing evening for everyone involved on the NFL's biggest stage after a pair of power outages delayed the game for close to 35 minutes in all.
"I just feel like San Francisco took a big step to show the NFL and to show the state of California that they need a new stadium," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "I think it was a very strategic move, and Candlestick may be no more."
Good thing there's a state-of-the-art $1 billion stadium in the works.
The 49ers rode their top-ranked run defense once again to keep ailing Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger off balance and maintain a hold on the NFC's No. 2 playoff seed and a first-round bye.
"Electric atmosphere tonight," tweeted team president Jed York -- unclear if his pun was intended.
Vernon Davis caught a 1-yard touchdown pass for the 49ers (11-3) one play after setting himself up with a 21-yard reception from Alex Smith, Frank Gore ran for a 5-yard score and David Akers kicked field goals of 22 and 38 yards to overtake Hall of Famer Jerry Rice for San Francisco's single-season scoring record.
"I think we showed the world we can play the game of football on a national stage," Davis said. "At the end of the day that's what it's all about: respect."
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