It was a historic scoring play and a chaotic one, all at the same time.
With the 49ers driving late in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Panthers, Davis got free from the coverage of first-team All-Pro Luke Kuechly in the back of the end zone.
Davis reached down and caught the football, dragging both of his feet along the black-painted grass in the end zone before they slid out of bounds.
Referees, however, ruled the play incomplete. The game clock also continued to wind down, causing Jim Harbaugh to run on the field and point it out to the officials. The 49ers coach was flagged for his appearance on the playing surface, but it didn’t matter.
The play was reviewed and the incompletion was overturned.
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Davis had a touchdown, his seventh career postseason touchdown in seven games. He also tied the 49ers all-time leader in receiving yards with Dave Casper for the most postseason touchdowns from a tight end in NFL history.
The touchdown gave San Francisco momentum into the second half.
Twenty-four hours later, Harbaugh went out of his way to praise Davis’ footwork.
“The touchdown catch that he made, and the way he was able to drag the feet and get the two feet in bounds, it’s something that he has worked tirelessly at in practice, after practice, before practice,” Harbaugh said. “He mentioned that Frank (Gore) was throwing him balls. He has really worked very hard at that. And to see the improvement, to see the payoff, just, it gives me tingles.”
Harbaugh also learned of Davis tying Casper, a 2002 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 49ers coach and avid football historian was proud to learn of Davis’ “neat” accomplishment.
“He tied the ‘Ghost to the Post,’” Harbaugh said with a smile. “Growing up watching a lot of NFL Films as I did, it seems like Dave Casper played in a lot more playoff games maybe than Vernon did. But I went and researched that and Dave Casper’s played in eight.”
Davis could take sole possession of the record with one more touchdown this Sunday in the NFC title game against the Seattle Seahawks.
In order to do that, perhaps he’ll work on more end zone plays with Gore as his quarterback.
Once his touchdown catch was confirmed in Carolina, Davis went over to the 49ers running back and jokingly said, “We worked on it, didn’t we?”