Yes, that was a huge win for New Orleans, which not only won a road playoff game for the first time in franchise history but did it without Drew Brees throwing for a gazillion yards and a raft of touchdowns.
But let's be honest, folks: It was little more than a stay of execution. The reason: It earned them a trip to Seattle where the Seahawks won all but one game in two years, including a 34-7 beatdown of New Orleans earlier this season.
OK, so that can happen in Seattle. Except the Saints were beaten there in the 2010 playoffs, too, when they were the defending Super Bowl champions and Seattle was a 7-9 division champion.
--2. Oh, yeah, and then there's this: Brees is 1-3 in Seattle, with his only victory in 2007.
--3. I'll tell you who's pulling hard for the Saints: 49ers fans not quite ready to close up Candlestick Park. It's not just that the 49ers can't win in Seattle, either (they lost their last two there by a combined score of 71-16); it's that if the Saints pull off the improbable it could mean Candlestick is un-retired for one more game.
--4. Those morons who claim you don't have to run the ball to succeed in today's NFL apparently missed the New Orleans and 49ers' victories. Brees didn't win that game for the Saints; Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson did, with the Saints' piling up 185 yards rushing sans Pierre Thomas. And tell me where San Francisco would've been without Colin Kaepernick's legs. Uh-huh, nowhere. They had 167 yards rushing. More importantly, the Saints ran eight times on their game-winning drive; the 49ers ran seven times. Oh, and one more thing: San Diego led everyone with 196 yards rushing, one reason Philip Rivers had to throw only 16 times.
--5. Someone please tell me momentum doesn't count for anything in the playoffs ... because it does. With five straight wins, San Diego has the longest active winning streak in the AFC, and with seven in a row, the 49ers have the longest in the NFC.
--6. Bad news, Denver: The AFC field is composed of the three teams that beat the Broncos this year (San Diego, New England and Indianapolis). Just saying.
--7. Who's got it better than San Francisco? Carolina. The Panthers beat the 49ers earlier this season, and they're home, where they haven't lost since the season opener to Seattle.
--8. It must have been cold in Green Bay. I couldn't see Ed Hochuli's biceps.
--9. On behalf of card-carrying members of Niners' Nation everywhere, I'd like say "Thank you, Cleveland, for Phil Dawson." That could've been David Akers lining up for the game-winning field goal.
--10. One look at that Green Bay-San Francisco game, and you know what the NFL is thinking: Yes, as a matter of fact, bitter cold doesn't mean a Super Bowl XLVIII calamity.
--11. Sorry, but I still don't get the second-half play-calling for Kansas City. I know the Chiefs were down star running back Jamaal Charles, and I understand they lost second-stringer Knile Davis. But when you're up 28 points aren't you trying to burn the clock by running the ball? You can look it up. After jumping ahead 38-10, Kansas City threw ... or tried to throw ... 23 of their last 33 snaps.
--12. The early forecast is for 50 degrees in Denver Sunday, which means Peyton Manning's critics can ... as Peyton might put it ... shove their cold-weather narrative where it's not so sunny -- or something like that.
--13. Another big loser this weekend didn't even suit up. That would be New England, which draws Andrew Luck, not Andy Dalton.
--14. If you're looking to buy Jay Gruden stock, you can get it now at a rock-bottom price.
--15. San Diego offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt should be at the top of Detroit's wish list. Look what he did for Philip Rivers this season. His 105.5 passer rating tied for the best of his career. What's more, Rivers has been magnificent down the stretch, with 10 TDs, two interceptions and five victories in his last five starts.
--16. Look at it this way, Chiefs' fans. Even if your team won, it would've had trouble finding 11 guys to play next weekend.
--17. Don't get too cocky, Seattle: Five of the last top seeds in the NFC failed to reach the Super Bowl. Just saying.
--18. Dating back to 2003, the top seeds in the AFC and NFC playoffs won exactly two Super Bowls, or the same number that sixth seeds did.
--19. Yep, Green Bay's Davon House was this close to blocking Dawson's game-winning field goal, but big deal. Even if he did snuff it, it wouldn't have mattered. He was offsides, and the 49ers declined the penalty. That's the story Fox didn't tell you afterward.
--20. Good thing that San Francisco-Green Bay game didn't go into overtime. It might've cut into the Season 4 premier of "Downton Abbey."
FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED THIS WEEKEND
--1. Defense still matters. The four teams left in the NFC ranked in the top five in the league's defenses, with Seattle and Carolina ranking first and second and New Orleans and San Francisco fourth and fifth.
--2. You don't want to play Mike McCoy twice in the same season. He's 2-0 vs. teams this year the second time around, including a defeat of Denver last month.