The 49ers season ended in the NFC Championship with a 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants. 49ers Public Relations presents the following notes and quotes from Sunday’s game.
Davis Races Into Record Books
- TE Vernon Davis notched 3 recepts. for 112 yds. and 2 TD recepts. on the day. Davis registered 10 recepts. for 292 yds. and 4 TDs in the postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 292 rec. yds. are the most by a tight end in their first two postseason games in NFL history.
- Davis is just the fifth player in the Super Bowl era to register at least 2 receiving TDs in consecutive postseason games in the same season.
- Davis became just the 3rd player in franchise history to register consecutive 100-yd. receiving games in the postseason. WR Jerry Rice notched back-to-back 100-yd. games in 1988 (5-133-2 TDs at Chi. – 1/8/89; 11-215-1 TD vs. Cin. – 1/22/89) and WR Dwight Clark accomplished the feat in 1981 (5-104 vs. NYG – 1/3/82; 8-120-2 TDs vs. Dal. – 1/10/82).
- Davis was on the receiving end of a 73-yd. TD pass by QB Alex Smith in the 1st qtr. The 73-yd. completion tied Davis’ career-long (73t at StL – 1/3/10). It also marked the fourth longest postseason recept. in 49ers postseason history.
- Davis hauled in his second TD recept. in the 3rd qtr. on a 28-yd. catch and run by Smith down the right sideline.
- The 49ers defense recorded 6 sacks in the game, which ranks t-2nd for the most sacks in a postseason game in franchise history (6 – four times, last vs. Den. – 1/29/90).
- McDonald registered 2.5 sacks on the day, which ranks t-2nd in franchise history for the most sacks by a one player in a postseason game.
- LB Aldon Smith, DT Justin Smith and LB Patrick Willis each added one sack, while LB NaVorro Bowman notched 0.5 sack.
Moving Up The Charts
- K David Akers connected on 1 of 1 FGs and 2 PATs for 5 pts. Akers ranks 2nd in NFL history for FGs made (35), trailing only K Adam Vinatieri (45).
- Akers has scored at least one point in all 21 career postseason games, trailing only Vinatieri (24) for the longest scoring streak in NFL postseason history.
- With 151 career postseason points, Akers ranks 3rd in NFL history, trailing only K Gary Anderson (153) and K Adam Vinatieri (187).
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
Press Conference – January 22, 2012
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants
What do you tell WR Kyle Williams at a moment like that? Do you console him, what do you say to him?
“Keep your chin up. We all have things that we wish could have been different and we could have done better. Congratulations to the Giants. Thought they played a heck of a ball game and found a way to win. Tip of the cap to them.”
When you put him back there, what were your instructions, at least for the last punt? Did you want him to be that aggressive with the ball?
“Yeah. Play football.”
You guys really struggled on third downs. What do you attribute that mainly to?
“Yes we did. Probably a couple of things. Their coverage, their rush. Certainly you look at our execution, probably the calls at the certain times. All those things would contribute to it.”
You didn’t throw a lot in the first half. Was it because of the conditions or why?
“What do you define as a lot? What’s a lot to you?”
What was it, seven or eight times? Seems like not a lot, seven.
“It seemed like it went pretty fast in the first half. I don’t have an answer for you there. That was not part of the game plan. We were playing football.”
Did the conditions influence how you called this game? How you approached it?
“No, it didn’t. We felt like we could operate in it.”
Do you feel like you did?
“Felt like we could.”
But did you feel like the weather did impact you guys at all?
“It was the same both ways.”
What did the Giants do to take away your wide receivers in this game?
“Like I just said a couple minutes ago, a combination of those four things probably.”
Even though you didn’t reach the Super Bowl, you reached the NFC-Championship in your first year. How do you feel about that, even though you didn’t get all the way?
“I’m proud of the way our players played. I’m proud of the way they prepared, they worked. They competed. Wasn’t there for us today. In a lot of ways, we played well enough to win. We don’t come away with it. It’ll be a tough one. It’ll probably take awhile to get over. But we’ll get over it. This team’s not defeated by any stretch of the imagination. A man can be destroyed, but he can’t be defeated as long as this team knows that there’s hope.”
You had the great run by RB Kendall Hunter, remember the 18-yarder and you got into field goal range. It seemed like after that there was a lot of passing, not the last drive of regulation, but you really started to throw it and less conventional runs. What was your thinking in that?
“I really don’t resonate with the question. There’s a lot there. What are you asking? Why didn’t we throw it more? Why didn’t we throw it less?”
It seemed like you had some good things going in the run game, but late in the game there were a couple shot gun handoff type things but it wasn’t just the typical line up and run the ball. Was there a reason for that?
“Late in the game in regulation? In the two-minute drills?”
No, before that. The two times before that and then in OT.
“I’m sure it’s something we’ll consider and look at. One thing doesn’t work, you wish you would have done the other. It’s one of the probably four or five of the things that you look at when you don’t pull the game out. What could you have done differently? Yeah, something didn’t work, you probably would have rather done the other. Doing our best to try to move the ball.”
In the fourth quarter there, you want to throw the flag for a replay. They never explained to the crowd. You couldn’t throw it because the whistle had blown before the ball came out? Was that it?
“They said that they had blown it dead.”
Did you have a chance to talk to Kyle after the game?
He seemed pretty obviously upset about what happened. What did you say to him?
“Don’t feel the need to share that here.”
What did you say to the defense that was on the field a lot, really did a pretty good job of trying to hold this team down? What do you say about their effort and their performance tonight?
“Great job. I say that to a lot of our players, all of our players. I said that to them after the game. Did a great job competing. They laid it out there. They played their hearts out. Disappointed that you don’t come away with the satisfaction of the win.”
On the would-be fumble down in your end. What did you see from where you were? You were pretty close to it.
“It looked like a fumble. Every play that happened in the game except that one was played out to the conclusion of the play.”
QB Alex Smith
Alex, after a season like this when it comes down to, obviously in the playoffs you have to keep winning to keep going. What’s the general feeling after something like this?
“Crappy. Yeah, overtime in the NFC Championship game. It’s a lot of work. It’s a tough road to even get here. And you get here and you’re so close. So it’s not good, not a good feeling.”
You guys had a lot of trouble on the third down, especially late in the game. What’s going on? What are you seeing or not seeing on those plays?
“Yeah, we were awful on third down. Got ourselves in a lot of third and longs and then even when we were third and manageable, didn’t convert. It was bad. I think it was the difference between us, really on offense that’s was what stands out to me. I think from really controlling that game a little bit more. Didn’t help out our defense enough, too many three and outs. Not enough plays. Convert those third downs you give yourself more plays, more chances. So many of those not converting on third down you’re limiting all of our opportunities and hurt us all night.”
Another thing, you guys weren’t able to get the ball to the wide outs. What were they doing outside?
“They were good. They mixed it up a lot today coverage wise, mixed it up a lot. There wasn’t one thing that jumps out to me. I got up, they pressed us. They played coverage. They played cover two. Mixed it up all throughout the game. We just weren’t able to get into a rhythm, get any guys going outside, so it limited us.”
How did that change maybe from the way they played you the last time, or was it pretty similar?
“I don’t know without looking at the tape. I guess I felt like the first game was a lot of single safety. A lot of playing the run and left us a lot of one-on-ones outside. And there still was that going on at times, they just mixed it up a lot more and there still was a lot of two-high in this game on first and second down. A lot on third down, especially those third and longs we couldn’t convert. Two deep, man under and couldn’t.”
What could you say about WR Kyle Williams? Not personally what you guys may have said to him, but obviously you’ve got to feel for him.
“No question, but for me I’m looking at the, what did we go, like 1 of 13 on third down? I know it’s tough for him. I’m sure he obviously will be thinking about those two punt returns for quite a while, but we didn’t lose the game there. We lost the game all across the board. Offensively we just weren’t good enough today. We didn’t get it done. On third downs the glaring one, just weren’t good enough.”
Did having WR Ted Ginn Jr. not in the lineup, did that impact you guys without that deep threat of the guy who can stretch the field?
“Yeah, it did, but all teams have to deal with injuries. So, no question he was the next guy in line and he goes down. So, the next guy to step up, Kyle stepped up. Missed some opportunities outside. It’s hard without looking at the tape. I don’t know if I missed some outside there or what. We took the shot deep there in the second quarter, missed that. Would have liked to have another opportunity.”
You made a lot of plays with your legs today. Did you come in thinking that you were going to have to be doing that to get some yardage?
“I was aware of it. Last week they played so much man, especially on third down. [Packers QB] Aaron [Rodgers] did the same thing, made a lot of plays with his feet. So, I was aware of it if it was there. Played a couple quarterback design stuff for me. And then a couple scrambles just man-to-man. Felt like even when it was that, a couple times I got out of the pocket and tried to make some plays on scrambles and we just didn’t all day. There were three or four times I felt like I got out of the pocket with some time and we weren’t able to do anything with it. Those are big play potentials and didn’t make anything happen there.”
How do you feel after something like this? Anger, frustration, disappointment? All of those emotions?
“Yeah, it’s tough to put one word on it, but yeah, all those things. Frustrated, disappointed for sure.”
How long will it take before you can sort of step back and get over the moment of what happened the entire season?
“I have no idea. Sorry. I don’t know. It’s a first for me. I don’t know. I’m sure it will be pretty crappy for a little while.”
Alex, did you talk to Kyle at all? Did you say anything to him?
“Yeah, I mean there’s not much you can say. I don’t know what I said, can’t come up with something really great, but what do you say? It’s crappy, what do you say to all of us? We all had a hand in it, but I know obviously him. We all know him, how committed he is. How much he wants to win, what a part of this team he is. So, it’s not on him. Those were two plays. Two plays of a lot that went on tonight and you can’t put it on those.”
Alex, do you still have time to re-sign here and how soon would you want to get that done?
“I’ve got no idea as far as any of the contract stuff. I’ll head in tomorrow and we’ll just go from there.”
You mentioned throwing outside, and what degree did the weather sort of affect not just physically throwing, but your decision of whether to throw?
“It was kind of off and on all night. I would actually say the wind was a little more a factor than the rain. I felt great in the first half going either the direction. Really, I think I personally struggled more with the fact that you went from soaking wet in the first half, especially with some of those runs and stuff. And then the second half dried out. And then you go to the point where your hands dry out it’s like getting out of a bath. I just kind of stayed licking the whole time in the second half trying to keep some of that tact. So, that’s where I felt like I struggled more in the second half with that stuff when it dried out.”
LB Blake Costanzo
Do you consider this year a success?
“I guess you could say it was a success on how we built our team and the bonds that we made with our teammates. Obviously the ultimate goal was to win the Super Bowl. That was our main goal and we didn’t accomplish that this year.”
WR Kyle Williams was saying how important it was for his teammates to talk to him after the game, embrace him, and say this is something you’re going to get over.
“Yeah, I love Kyle with all my heart. I wouldn’t put anybody else back there. I roll with him one hundred percent. He was just trying to make a play to help our team win, that’s all he was trying to do. Unfortunately it was wet out there and the Giants were playing tough too. You got to give them the credit, but I wouldn’t want anyone else. I love him like he’s my brother and that’s how we are on this team.”
I’m looking down at your shirt. You got the blue collar thing going on. That’s kind of how the season began, a season that nobody expected you to get to this point in the first place. As you reflect, along with the disappointment tonight, are you able to enjoy what you accomplished?
“Yeah, it’s so hard to get to this point. A lot of guys play five, six, seven, eight years and this is the first chance they got to play in the playoffs. Anytime you have a chance to get to this game, since you’re so close to the Super Bowl, it’s cool to get that feeling. Like I said, it’s just hard to be so close, yet so far. Obviously we will have another opportunity because it keeps us hungry. We now have that taste in our mouth on how close we got and we will just bring that to next year.”
WR Michael Crabtree
You’re obviously good friends with WR Kyle Williams. How do you feel about that?
“It’s football. You can’t just go crazy over that play. I know you love the game, but at the same time it’s football. Game over, there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s just how it is.”
Did you say anything to him?
“I told him just don’t do anything stupid. It’s a football game. I know it hurts, but it’s going to hurt.”
People were calling this the team of destiny. How shocking is it for it to suddenly be over?
“Defense played great. Great defense and you can’t say enough about them, they were great. Sometimes you just have to move the ball. You’ve got to make plays and give people chances to make plays.”
TE Vernon Davis
Obviously not the way you wanted the season to end. Can you put into words how you’re feeling?
“Very upset. Very upset. To me, we’re definitely a Super Bowl team. We made it this far. Everyone wanted to win it. We wanted to play in the Super Bowl, but we just didn’t get it.”
You guys started out hot, you especially getting that first touchdown [the 73-yard pass in the first quarter]. Do you feel like you left everything on the field?
“I feel like I did. I feel like my teammates did as well. I feel like we left everything on the table. We left everything. We played as hard as we possibly could. I’m proud of those guys because they worked their tails off out there tonight. We still have to look on the bright side. We’ll always have next year.”
You’ve certainly come a long way from last year.
“A long way, long way. Like I said, tonight was a great opportunity for us to play in this game and to make it this far. We still have to give thanks to God for putting us in this situation.”
This is one of the few times this season you were on the wrong side of the turnover battle [49ers lost two fumbles, the Giants none]. Obviously that didn’t help tonight.
“No, it didn’t. Whenever you get turnovers, it can hurt the team. Turnovers, penalties – all of those things. We still have to move forward and stay together as a family.”
[WR] Kyle [Williams] had a tough game. What did you guys say to him?
“Kyle did have a tough game, just like anyone can have a tough game. I just told Kyle that it’s all right, to keep your head up, stay focused and just keep fighting. I know everyone was going to be coming down on you, but I’m on his side.”
What was Coach [Jim] Harbaugh’s message?
“He just told us to keep our heads up and that we’re still in this thing. We’ve got next year. This is just a stepping stone to show everyone what we’re all about.”
One of the things that was an issue throughout the year was third down conversions and I don’t think you converted one until the last play of regulation. What do you need there to be more consistent in that situation?
“That’s just an area where we have to get better. It’s something we need to work on. It’s too late to go back into the past. We lost the game. We didn’t get all of the things we needed. We can’t really talk about it because it’s gone, but we can move forward.”
It was a tough loss, but can you talk about the journey of the season overall?
“It was an amazing journey, amazing. It’s one of the best seasons we’ve ever had. It’s an honor for me to be with this team. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m just hungry for more. I’m sure the rest of the guys are as well. Like I said, it’s an outstanding stepping stone for us to move forward.”
Even though you lost tonight, would you call this season an absolute success?
“I would. Now that the game is over and we didn’t get it, I think it was a success. It’s a privilege to be here. We wanted to win, of course, but we played hard and didn’t come up with it.”
S Dashon Goldson
Do you guys take it personally when a guy goes off like that in the first half like Victor Cruz did?
“He did what he was support to do. They came out here and performed. We take our hats off to Eli. They came out here and played and had a great game plan. And we did too. It was a good game on both sides of the ball and on both sidelines.”
What adjustments did you guys make at halftime?
“It was just to settle down. Nothing major. Just telling guys to settle down and we got this. Keep tackling and keep the pass rush. There was nothing major that we had to change.”
Did you find any encouragement in that you did turn it around in the 2nd half?
“It was just the mentality of the football team. We knew what was at stake and we wanted to come out here and win this football game, so everyone just rallied up and said come on lets win this game.”
RB Frank Gore
How does this rank amongst the seasons of football you’ve played?
“By far my best. It was my first time in the postseason and in the NFC Championship Game. To come down to the wire, you know a lot of people doubted me and said I wouldn’t be able to come back from my hip injury last year. It’s just tough right now. We’ve got a great group. We’ve got a great quarterback and great coaches. We have a great core group of guys.”
What do you think you’ll remember when you look back at the season?
“It was a great year. I just wish we could’ve gone to the big game, especially with all of the hard work and all of the tough times we’ve had.”
Were you playing with some injuries today?
“I feel great. I feel strong and quick. I just wanted to do whatever it took, but we fell short. I know what kind of guys we have in the locker room. I know what type of coaches we have. We’ll bounce back.”
The wide receivers weren’t involved in the mix a lot until late in the game and then barely at all. When you saw the Giants scheme, what did you see that they were taking away?
“They played a good game. But they couldn’t handle us at all. But they came in, played hard and came away with the victory. I have to give it up to them. They came into a tough environment and against a team like us, which is one of the most complete teams in the league that can run the ball, throw the ball, play great defense and great special teams. We just fell today. I know what type of guys we have in the locker room and I know we’ll bounce back. I also know what kind of coaches we have. It’s tough, but we’ll take it and hopefully next year we’ll get back on the train and get it rocking again.”
NT Ricky Jean Francois
Do you consider the season a success despite the bad end?
“From being 6-10 last season it was a successful season. We wish it would have never ended up this way. I wish it never ended but it ended.”
Describe the atmosphere in overtime?
“I probably couldn’t find one fan that was sitting down. I don’t care where you were. You were probably at your house standing up for all I know. Just to have the type of crowd like that, the energy with everyone standing up. You could just tell that there was a lot on the line.”
How well do you know Kyle Williams, how do you think he will handle this?
“He is going to need his teammates to stick with him and be with him. I understand a lot of people are going to put the blame on him. Like I told him, the blame is not on you. There were multiple times we could have ended this game. I don’t blame him at all. I said if you need anything doesn’t matter how long it takes, hell walk him to the car, take him to his house. I just don’t want him to beat himself up for it.”
Is he the type of guy you think can handle this?
“He has to. Just being in the NFL you have to be able to handle this. Having the teammates he has and plus the receiving core that he has, he will take it hard but he will have the right support around him”
Can you imagine being the guy? When the playoffs come down to the line to one player, and you are the guy.
“He wasn’t the guy. The game didn’t come down to him. The game could have been ended multiple times. Their defense did one hell of a job; our defense did one hell of a job. Our quarterback did a good job and theirs did too. But it never came down to Kyle Williams. We could have won that game multiple times. “
DT Justin Smith
Tell us how you feel?
“You know everyone feels differently. You can dwell or you can move on. That’s all there is to that.”
When your season comes down to overtime, not just regular time, in overtime on a play like that, is it just shock or is it hard to absorb?
“Life goes on. It’s not the end of the world. It’s hard to swallow, but they beat us. They were better than us today and they deserve to go to the Super Bowl. That’s just the bottom line. That’s how this game shakes out. It’s hard to swallow, but what else are you going to do?”
What did you learn about your team today?
“We got to the NFC Championship Game, that’s what I learned. It gives us something to build on and come back. Hopefully we can get back to it and win it. Go the distance.”
T Joe Staley
The way WR Kyle Williams had those two punts, does that make it more difficult that there’s one guy who had some plays like that?
“I feel bad for Kyle. There are a lot of plays in a football game. Myself, I had a third down where me and [G] Mike [Iupati] didn’t pass off a stunt late in the game and it led to a sack. There are a lot of plays that we wish we could have back. I feel bad for him because he’s been a great teammate and done a great job for us all year. I know everybody’s going to be looking at those two plays, I just feel bad for him.”
Have you ever experienced a loss like this?
“No. This is the hardest loss of my career in football, especially with it being so close, being in it the whole game. We couldn’t convert on third down today; that was big. A lot of missed opportunities on the field. We just weren’t executing on offense like we had been all season and they made one more play than we did.”
Can you attribute that to anything?
“I have no idea. I don’t know what was going on. It seemed like we weren’t clicking. I don’t know, I’ll have to watch and see the game. I was just blocking.”
TE Delanie Walker
Did they do anything in particular to limit you guys in the passing game? The receivers didn’t have very many catches today.
“They were really trying to grab us off the ball, making sure they held us up and played two-man basically. They kept safeties over the top and pressed us, trying to hold us up and not get off the ball.”
Did you expect to play that much? You played almost every snap.
“I was expecting to play. Going into the game they told me that I was going to play a lot if I could handle it. We started off the game with some run plays and I told them I was capable of handling it all. So that’s what we did.”
How do you sum up the remarkable year?
“I think we had a great year. Nobody expected us to get this far coming off a new coaching staff, new playbook, the short year, learning the whole system. So I think that we exceeded our goals and we are where we wanted to be. Nobody expected us to play in the NFC Championship Game for the Super Bowl.”
As close and hard-fought as that game was, was there ever any doubt in your mind you guys were going to pull it out in the end?
“I thought we were going to pull it out. I didn’t think this was going to happen. That’s a great team though. The Giants played great. They played great at the last minute and there’s really nothing you can do about it now.”
Have you even thought about next year already?
“This is just a glimpse of what you’re going to see next year. We’re just going to get better and better.”
WR Kyle Williams said how important it was to feel the love from his teammates after the game. Can you expound on that?
“We’re a team. We’ve always played as a team. There are 45 of us out there working hard. If we lose, we lose as a team and if we win, we win as a team. Everybody was supporting each other. We felt like we played well and we got where we wanted to be at. We were in the NFC Championship Game playing for the Super Bowl. Nobody expected that so we’re all showing each other love and trying to keep our heads up.”
S Donte Whitner
Was it a pretty vicious game on both sides?
“It was pretty vicious. You had two teams that didn’t really want to go home. We didn’t really worry about weather, we didn’t really worry about anything, but you had two football teams fighting to the bitter end. Neither team wanted to budge and it was just unfortunate that it came down to a forced turnover and a field goal. We’re going to show him [WR Kyle Williams] a lot of love, it’s not his fault. We understand that it’s just one play out of many and we have to move on now. The Giants are going to the Super Bowl and we have to move on.”
Did you or anybody say anything to WR Kyle Williams?
“I didn’t say anything to him. I’m not sure if anybody said anything to him, but there’s not really too much that you can say to the guy right now. You’ve just got to show him a lot of love. He’s a young guy, he’s a good player, second year. He’ll be alright.”
You guys got the ball from Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw late in the game. You didn’t get the fumble call, but is that something you guys were talking about?
“That’s something that we were talking about. We thought that it at least should have been reviewed. We felt that the ball did come out and he was still up. It’s the same thing that happened to us last time when we played them; [Giants WR Victor] Cruz came across the middle, I stripped him and they did the same thing. It’s a bang-bang play, the refs made the decision, but that’s not the reason why we lost the game when we didn’t get that fumble.”
How much did it compromise the secondary when CB Tarell Brown went out? You’ve got some young guys back there.
“It compromised us. T Brown is a guy that we look forward to being out there. He’s been out there all year. So we had to bring some young guys in and we had to mix and match some coverages. But they came in and did a pretty good job. Except for the one touchdown they did a pretty good job of holding their own out there. But we really did miss him when he left the football game.”
WR Kyle Williams
Can you talk about that play from your point of view?
“It was just one of those situations where I caught the ball, tried to head up field, tried to make a play and it ended up for the worse.”
How much did the weather factor in the conditions today?
“Everyone handled the weather okay. I don’t know if that play was because of that or not, but it was just one of those situations where the guy made the play, caught me slipping and got the ball up.”
What did Coach [Jim Harbaugh] say to you?
“Keep my head up. Everybody in here shows the resolve of this team. Everyone in here told me to keep my head up and told me it’s not on me. We’ll move forward. It’s just one of those things. You hate to be the last guy that had the ball, to give it up that way in that fashion and to lose a game of this magnitude. It is what it is. We’re going to move forward as a team. Everyone has come to pat me on the back and the shoulder and say it’s not on me. I couldn’t be happier with the teammates I have in here.”
How comfortable are you in that position [returning punts] with [WR] Ted [Ginn Jr.] out?
“Very comfortable. There wasn’t any situation where I felt out of place. Throughout the game, I showed that. It’s just one of those things.”
LB Patrick Willis
How are you feeling right now, and how is the team reacting?
“You’re in disbelief. It’s like when something happens and you can’t believe it really happened. It’s one of those things that really hurts right now. It will hurt even more tomorrow and the day after. Right now it’s just disbelief, that’s about it.”
As a team, how were you prepared for today and collectively, how do you feel?
“Regardless of how the game went, in our minds, we knew that game to be ours. We were going to win that game regardless of what it took, whether we had to go 100 times in overtime or win in regulation, we knew it had to be ours. We had to win that game. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way.”
Looking back on the season, what are your thoughts?
“We certainly had a lot of things to be excited about, to be happy about. But at the same time, to fight and get this far, nobody was ready to go home. We were all looking forward to the game today. We knew that if we got this one, we had to keep it going. All that hard work, you don’t want it to be for nothing. When you look back, there are a lot of things you can take from this and build.”
Did you talk to WR Kyle Williams and what did you say?
“Yes I did. I just told him that we are all in this together. I believe in him and if we had to do this all over again, he would be the guy who we put back there. Especially given this situation, [WR] Ted Ginn Jr. is out and Kyle is our next guy in line. I said if we had to do it all over again I would put him back out there again. He is a tremendous athlete and unfortunately some bad play happened to him. At the end of the day, this is a team game. We talk about it all the time, ‘the team, the team, the team.’ We’re not pointing fingers at anyone, we take it for what it is. We give credit where credit is due. New York won and they’re going to the Super Bowl.”
What was your impression on the [Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw] fumble?
“I just felt like that was one of those plays in the game where you can’t put your finger on it. The rules are what they are and the referees call what they call. It is what it is. They say it was forward progress and stopped, therefore it is not a fumble. That’s what we have to live with.”
Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin
“I can just say that that was a tremendous football game for those that really enjoy football in its very basic element. It was a very physical game, we knew it was going to be. We had the rain. We had the wind. We had all of those ingredients thrown in. Both defenses played superbly. It was very, very difficult for either team to muster any kind of consistency offensively. The play [QB] Eli [Manning] made on third down that gave us the touchdown that gave us the lead was just an incredible football play. And then the play at the end of the game, there were two of them. The ball that hit the return man’s knee and then the ball was stripped by [LB] Jacquian Williams and recovered by [WR] Devin Thomas, which gave us field position that we needed. We were then able to rush the ball a little bit, got it in the middle of the field, and kicked the field goal to win. Just a classic football game that seemed like no one was going to put themselves in position to win it, but we were able to do that. I’m very proud of this group, congratulating our ownership, our team, our coaches for the way that they prepared and performed here. The 49ers are a very good football team. They don’t need me to say that. They certainly have a formula that I admire. They play great defense, they don’t turn the ball over. They were able to have an outstanding season. I congratulate them for their season and we’re all excited about advancing.”
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