When you really break down Sunday’s NFC Championship game, it was clear that it could have gone either way. Both the 49ers and the Giants came to play and gave all they could to win.
Like so many other NFL games, this one came down to turnovers and at the end of the day, the two mistakes by Kyle Williams were critical in the game. Now am I saying it’s all his fault? No, because when you breakdown the game and look at the 49ers third down conversion percentage, you’ll notice that they only converted one third down the entire game. You can’t win if you can’t move the ball on third downs.
After the game, all I could think of, was how great the 49ers defense was in the second half and how much of a pounding they put on Giants quarterback Eli Manning. They clearly have the NFL’s best defense.
I also believe the Giants defense played great, despite poor coverage against 49ers tight end Vernon Davis on both of his touchdown catches.
The Giants offense was very effective in the first half throwing the ball down the field. Victor Cruz in particular had a great game with 10 catches for just under 150 yards.
In the second half the 49ers were able to make adjustments and clamp down on the Giants passing game by providing great coverage which enabled their pass rush to get to Manning.
I really believe if Williams didn’t fumble that punt in over time, both teams might still be playing now because of the struggle between both defenses.
The good news for the 49ers and their fans, is that they are clearly a Super Bowl contender and they have a great young head coach in Jim Harbaugh. There’s no reason for them to not be back in the playoffs next season.