Running Diary of the NFC Championship Game
Before the Niners took the field on Sunday to face the New York Giants for the NFC Championship, no one in the country knew who Kyle Williams was (except maybe his family, friends and 49er fans). Unfortunately for Mr. Williams, he will now be known as the guy who essentially handed the Giants the NFC title in 2012.
The 49ers’ season came to a screeching halt after the Giants won an overtime thriller in Candlestick Park last night, 20-17. The thoughts of Jim Harbaugh leading his team back to the Super Bowl in his first year were quickly erased as Lawrence Tynes’ game-winning field goal sailed through the uprights.
As the game progressed, I kept a running diary of my thoughts and the game’s events in what I honestly thought would be a 49ers victory. I’m warning you 49ers fans, this will not be pleasant to re-live, but I hope you still read it anyway.
3:16pm ESPN is halfway to their dream rematch after the Patriots beat the Ravens. It’s pretty unbelievable that Cundiff missed that kick. (Little did we know that 4 hours later, Williams would become the Bay Area’s version of Cundiff).
3:23pm Alex Smith is wearing a San Francisco Giants hat during interview with Terry Bradshaw which is perhaps endearing him even more to the fans of San Francisco. This has to be the first time Bradshaw has sat down with Alex Smith. Or any 49er for that matter.
3:28pm Fox analyst (and honorary Giants captain for this game) Michael Strahan is picking the Giants to win the game. Shocking.
3:40pm The Fox robot has to be the inspiration behind “Real Steel“.
3:56pm I tweet that the 49ers need to get pressure on Manning on 3rd down. On cue, they sack him. Just call me Nostradamus.
4:00pm Alex Smith hits Vernon Davis with a beautiful throw for a touchdown. It goes under review to see if Davis stepped out of bounds. Call stands. 7-0 49ers. Davis flagged for excessive celebration. If standing on things to celebrate is a a penalty, I should be flagged every time I finish posting an article.
4:32pm Giants score first TD of the day with Manning connecting to former 49er, Bear Pascoe (fantastic name). Game tied at 7.
4:45pm This game is going exactly how most people thought it would: slow and low scoring.
5:04pm Victor Cruz is killing the 49ers. This may shock you, but I am in no way related to him.
5:07pm Giants make a FG with 6 seconds left in the half. Go into halftime leading 10-7.
5:10pm I spend halftime scarfing down some delicious Thai food. Almost succumb to a food coma until I remember that I need to stay awake to write about the game.
5:26pm Giants start the 2nd half with a 3 and out. 49ers seem to have made some good adjustments at the half.
5:32pm Jim Harbaugh is a scary man. For the referees to not be scared of him is an accomplishment in itself.
5:43pm As of this point – Michael Crabtree has 0 catches and has been targeted 1 time.
5:47pm Alex Smith with a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis that I thought might be intercepted. No excessive celebration penalty this time. He could have been flagged for his terrible attempt at dancing though. 49ers up 14-10.
6:10pm Ed Hochuli averages 3.4 minutes per penalty explanation.
6:13pm 49ers are now 0-8 on 3rd down. This may come back to haunt them. (Again, just call me Nostradamus.)
6:18pm Aldon Smith sacks Eli Manning. Welcome to the game, rookie. His sack celebration is fantastic by the way.
6:21pm Giants punt to the 49ers. The ball touches Kyle Williams’ knee. Play is initially called as downed by the Giants. Giants challenge. Call is reversed, Giants ball. That’s a huge break for the Giants.
6:28pm Turnover seems to have killed all momentum the 49ers had.
6:31pm Manning to Manningham for a Giants TD. Giants now up 17-14. Air gets sucked out of Candlestick.
6:41pm 49ers drive the ball down to allow David Akers to hit a FG, tie game 17-17.
6:56 4th quarter, 49ers ball, 3 timeouts remaining, 1:47 left on the clock. Buckle up.
6:58 That was quick. 49ers with a 3 and out. You can unbuckle your seat belts.
7:03pm Victor Cruz doesn’t make a catch. Seems like the first time this game.
7:08pm Overtime in San Francisco. Joe Buck must be upset that he has to spend more time in the Bay Area.
7:10pm Giants call tails, coin lands tails. They get first crack at winning the game.
7:15pm Giants are forced to punt.
7:19pm 49ers can’t convert, and are forced to punt it back to the Giants.
7:26pm Huge sack by Justin Smith. Keeps the Giants out of field goal range. Huge play. Forces another Giants punt.
7:27pm Giants punt. Kyle “Scapegoat” Williams fumbles the punt return. Giants recover. The game has been basically handed to the Giants. Unbelievable.
7:35pm Tynes hits the game winning field goal. Giants win 20-17. An absolute heartbreaker for the 49ers. Raider fans rejoice.
The 49ers’ dream season may be over but when the season started, no one in their wildest dreams thought they would be an overtime field goal away from going to the Super Bowl. As tough as this loss may be to swallow, the 49ers have shown that they will be a problem for anyone and everyone in years to come. For now, at least we can answer the question of “Who’s got it better than us?!”
Apparently, the Giants and the Patriots.
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