I was on another Twitter account moments ago and was nearly stoned by a Niner fan for even suggesting that someone/something else was responsible for San Francisco losing to the Giants on Sunday.
Alas, it’s time to address the Kyle Williams situation or assorted NFC title game issues.
Before we get to the goats, the conduct of 49er fans following this game is deplorable. First off, it’s obvious that Williams did a poor job on both fumbles and is one of the people responsible for the 49ers not playing in the Super Bowl on February 5.
Telling a guy that he should kill himself because you will not have the opportunity to get sauced and/or mortgage your home to travel to Indianapolis for the Super Bowl, is purely low class.
But I digress.
The Niners lost that game on Sunday for numerous other reasons:
1. OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR GREG ROMAN
Alex Smith’s 73-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 7:21 left in the first quarter was the last throw he completed in the entire half. In fact, after the Davis completion, Smith attempted three more passes (one completed pass negated due to penalty) until halftime.
As a whole, Eli Manning attempted 58 passes to Smith’s 26. San Francisco ran 57 plays to New York’s 90 but an offensive coordinator can’t soft-shoe his way to a Super Bowl…at least not in yesterday’s game.
You have to take the gloves off of Smith to a degree.
2. MICHAEL CRABTREE
Wasn’t he supposed to be the next big thing at wide receiver? He caught one pass for three yards. To those unaware, the Giants don’t have any future Hall of Famers lurking at cornerback or safety. That point is further emphasized by New York’s ranking as the 29th best passing defense in the NFL.
Crabtree had one more reception on Sunday than former 49er Freddie Solomon.
3. TED GINN’S KNEE
Who knew that Ginn would become one of the pivotal figures of Championship Sunday without ever playing? His knee injury and deactivation forced Williams into the punt return role. It marked the second time a Ginn injury greatly impacted a championship game.
Disclaimer: Tebow alert!
4. SAN FRANCISCO’S 3RD DOWN OFFENSE
The 49ers finished Sunday’s game with a 1 for 13 mark on third downs. That is not good enough to beat bad teams let alone a hot Giants club.
5. ALEX SMITH
Of the four quarterbacks on Sunday, Smith’s performance did even more harm to his team than another quarterback with California ties. Yes, it rained. However, Smith’s 12 of 26 performance for 196 yards included numerous ground balls that likely made Eagles fans suffer hot flashes from the Donovan McNabb era.
Eli Manning and the Giants crossed into 49ers territory on four occasions during the second half and overtime – two of those times were a result of the Williams fumbles. San Francisco failed to capitalize significantly.
The Giants were there for the taken and Smith couldn’t deliver the goods.
Kyle Williams deserves a lot of blame. His first fumbled punt with San Francisco up 14-10 in the fourth quarter was severely devastating considering how the 49ers defense roughed up Manning in the second half.
Williams didn’t act alone though.
You win as a team and you lose as a team.