NEW ORLEANS (AP)
Jeff Garcia warmed up for his playoff visit to Lambeau Field with a dominating
performance at the site of the Super Bowl.
Garcia threw four touchdown passes
for the second time this season against New Orleans, leading the San Francisco
49ers to a 38-0 victory over the Saints on Sunday.
Garcia, who came out after one series
in the fourth quarter, completed 14 of 21 passes for 263 yards.
San Francisco (12-4) had a chance
to get a home game in the first round of the playoffs until a 27-21 upset
loss to the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.
Green Bay's 34-25 victory over the
New York Giants meant that the 49ers will visit the Packers at Lambeau
Field next weekend.
The Saints (7-9) finished the season
with four straight losses, and they gave up an average of 40 points in
Aaron Brooks threw four interceptions
and was sacked three times as New Orleans, the 2000 NFC West champion,
was shut out for the first time since the 49ers beat the Saints 31-0 in
After struggling on their first two
possessions, the 49ers took advantage of a fumble by Ricky Williams on
their 44. On first down, Garcia found Terrell Owens 10 yards behind Saints
cornerback Fred Thomas for a 56-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
On their next possession, Garcia
found Owens again for a 60-yard touchdown that put San Francisco up 14-0.
The two touchdowns were Owens' only receptions of the day.
In the second quarter, the 49ers
recovered Williams' second fumble, on the Saints 28, setting up Garcia's
third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder to Terry Jackson that put San Francisco
Midway through the third quarter,
the 49ers' third interception of Brooks led to a 39-yard field goal that
made it 24-0
Garcia threw his fourth TD pass on
the first play of the fourth quarter, hitting J.J. Stokes for a 6-yard
score that made it 31-0.
Brooks was intercepted for the fourth
time in the fourth quarter, and backup quarterback Tim Rattay marched the
49ers 44 yards for the 49ers' final touchdown, with Terry Jackson running
the last 9.
Brooks, who had nine interceptions
in the first 12 games, had 13 in the last four. By the third quarter, the
small crowd still in the stands chanted for Jeff Blake, the quarterback
Blake came in with 7:35 left in the
game. On first down at the New Orleans 25, Williams fumbled for a third
time, finally recovering it on the 4, and New Orleans punted on fourth-and-33.
Brooks completed 21 of 33 passes
for 119 yards.