“We came to win, we didn’t win. We played hard. We fought hard and that’s the one thing we can take away from this. We had our opportunities, didn’t quite work that way. We did not win the turnover battle. It was two-to-one, in that regard and we knew that we could not make any mistakes along those lines because they were 12 coming in here. We did a pretty good job with [WR Ted] Ginn [Jr.] and special teams, except one of the punts was, obviously, way out of bounds and way too short. Too little, too late, not enough — whatever you want to describe it as. They’re a good team. They’re a sound team. They play very good defense. They don’t give you much. When they did pressure, we got the ball over the top, we took advantage of that, but that only happened a couple of times. We’re a good defensive team and they came out and ran the ball six times in the first half, which was a surprise. They made some plays with the passing game and made some plays over the middle into the second half. The crossing pattern there at the end of the game – I’ll have to look at that, but that’s too easy. The run, the final touchdown, was too easy. We had a lot of young guys that had to go in and play and play as hard as they could and they’ll learn from this and hopefully we all will as well. Very disappointed in losing. We didn’t come here to lose. We came to win. It just didn’t happen.”
On the last play, the fourth-and-two, was there anything that could have been done
“[DT Justin Smith] decided not to rush and he’s a veteran player and a good player. There have been games where he’s had to make a play and strip the ball out, for example. This time he just guessed right. The ball was in his neighborhood. We changed personnel, which is something we do very well. Most of these people can do that in their sleep and he just knocked the ball down. I didn’t think he was going to get to that anyway. We almost had the first down prior to that, but the run wasn’t for much.”
Your back [RB
“He did a good job. Every time we looked up and he had the ball, he did a nice job. He ran with power, caught the ball in the backfield, made a nice catch on an option route there as we drove the ball down. I thought he did a nice job.”
How do you assess your quarterback’s play?
“I think he’s been outstanding all year long and there’s nothing different about today. The only thing that happened today that he wouldn’t be pleased with and I would either would be the turnovers.”
The last one that he threw, did he not have much to throw to?
“The ball was led inside and it looked like the receiver was interpreting a little bit differently. I’m not sure that they were on the same page on that play. Then he makes the strike in the end zone for the tying score. It’s an extension where [WR] Mario [Manningham] has really got to reach out there and the ball just doesn’t get caught. You’d have to explain it to me. Some times they catch them, some times they don’t.”
How bad is [LB Michael] Boley’s injury?
“I don’t know. I know it’s a hamstring. How bad it is, I don’t know.
How badly did you miss Boley on [TE Vernon] Davis’s touchdown?
“Obviously with your starting middle backer out, the guy that calls all the defenses and has had an outstanding year, you’re going to miss him. You want to play with everybody and that’s the point. The point is that everybody, you need all of your people. San Francisco has played with everybody, all year long.”
How did [LB Spencer] Paysinger do filling in for Boley?
“He goes in and tries hard. I’d like to look at the tape, but he goes in with the look in his eye and just goes to work. I can’t tell you exactly what happened.”
On fourth-and-six, you went for it. Were you not sure about your defense?
“No. I just felt we were moving the ball and why would we stop? I wasn’t going to stop ourselves. We thought the quarterback could make the play, and he did.”
Why was there more Ware than [RB Brandon] Jacobs in the second half?
“There was a lot of third down, a lot of three-wides. I think that’s probably the only explanation.”
Are you surprised you didn’t come back in the fourth quarter after pulling out so many this year?
“I’m very disappointed. We had time, we used the clock very well. Had we been able to drive and score they would have had very little time left for them to do anything about it. It would have been overtime. I thought we were in perfect control. I thought we would get there, score, and send it into overtime and win it in overtime. I’m very disappointed. We’ve done very well in those situations and I expected to do well again. Didn’t happen and you can call it percentages, or whatever you want, but we’re prepared to excel in that area and we’ve done just that. So, am I disappointed because we didn’t? Yes. I’m thinking we’re going to win and so was everybody else.”
New York Giants Quarterback
The way you were coming back at the end, were you guys feeling it?
“Yeah, we felt confident. The drive before we had gone down there and scored and that drive we had a couple big fourth down conversions. We were right there, very close. On the 3rd down we tried to run and get the two yards but didn’t get it. The fourth down we had a good play called, but obviously they batted it down at the line of scrimmage. Unfortunately a good play by that guy to get his hand up there in the line of flight. I think, we always feel that we are always in the game. We had a bad series go down and took the lead by seven. We’d throw an interception they scored and we’re down 14 but we kept fighting and competing to the very end. We went down there to score, the defense did a great job getting the ball back, but unfortunately we could not score again.”
Was the interception intended for [WR Victor] Cruz?
“Yes, it was going to Cruz. They were playing man and he did a good job beating his guy. [TE Jake] Ballard was getting held, it looked like by Patrick Willis. It was a little tight, they overlapped each other so I tried to fit it into Victor but it got knocked down.”
The second interception, there looked like a disconnect between you and [WR Mario] Manningham.
“Yeah, that’s something we have to look at. He had an in cut, and maybe he thought that I was scrambling. He was going to try to bang it back out and get open. I thought he was going to stay on the move. Obviously threw it, and the cornerback stayed on the move and caught it.”
How close was he on the long pass?
“It seemed close. It’s one of those things where you look at film and hate yourself for it. He was so open. It’s one of those, when you look at it in film it looked like he was wide open and say ‘I could have laid it out there for him and he could have walked under it.’ But you always try to hit the guy right in stride, you know their timing. That’s what we’ve been trying to do. Just a little bit too far of a throw or he couldn’t hold onto it. It’s unfortunate.”
Nicks back and everyone moving?
“It’s always good to get [WR] Hakeem [Nicks] back, he is a tremendous player for us. They gave him a lot of respect. They usually kept two guys over him at all times. It’s why we have [TE Jake] Ballard, [WR Victor] Cruz and [WR Mario] Manningham. Those guys were playing great and making big plays so they ought to continue doing that.”
Offense moved the ball well from the start but it was all about field goals.
“Yeah, field goals and that’s going to be tough. That’s why they are one of the better teams in the NFL. Their defense down there, especially down there in the red-zone, they don’t give up many touchdowns. We tried to run the ball down there a little bit but didn’t get anything so you’re stuck with a third-and-eight. They do a good job giving you underneath stuff and taking away over top so you try to throw it underneath and maybe they can run for the first, but they did a good job tackling… We didn’t get much there.”
New York Giants DE
Were you surprised when you guys did not pull off a fourth quarter comeback? You guys have had so many this year.
“I don’t know if I’d say surprised, I know we had the opportunity to do it. Nobody on that sideline was nervous or down-and-out. We were still in the football game all the way to the last pass.”
How much did losing [LB Michael] Boley hurt?
“It’s actually kind of funny. We were talking about who on this defense would it hurt to lose and unanimously we talked about Boley. He is that guy that gets everyone setup, lined up. It’s tough. Hopefully it’s not as serious as it looked and we can get him back in the lineup as soon as possible. We definitely need him.”
Was that the problem in those two touchdowns, was there some sort of miscommunication?
“I don’t think so. They caught us in the play and made a better play than we did. You’ve got to give those guys credit. We knew this was going to be a tough team to play, especially here, especially once they got the crowd going. They made two good plays and scored. I don’t know if we can credit that to Boley not being in there.”
It seemed like you guys were coming back, did you feel that in the last drive?
“Oh yeah, no question, we definitely believed right up to that last pass that we were going to go in and take a score there and tie it up. Like you said, we have done that a couple times this year. Eli has done a great job in rallying the troops and putting us in the position to win it there. Unfortunately we fell a little short here. It was such a great site to see how this team continued to rally and fight. Hopefully this is something we can build off of. That’s a tough team to play. Hopefully, we will get another shot at it.”
Up 13-12, did you feel that swing was game?
“I think so. It was a critical part in the game where, like you said, we had the lead. Regardless of what the punt was, we feel very confident that if you give us a line to cross, our defense will stop them. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for us this time. We have some more games where we can continue to solidify our playoff push, and that’s what we have to focus on. Obviously we would have loved to have this one but it didn’t happen. Now we focus on the Eagles.”
Based on what you guys have done in the fourth quarter the past two months, does it surprise you that you were not able to finish the game off with a win?
“I am a little surprised. When we have those late drives, and we are driving the field doing some good things like converting on a couple of fourth downs, you get that feeling like okay we are going to do this. If that D-lineman [DT Justin Smith} didn’t tip that ball, you know we might still be out there in overtime. ”
After your dropped ball was the next play — the interception. Was the same play called?
“It was a different play but I had the same route. I beat [CB Carlos] Rogers, but he just stayed underneath it. The ball was a little low. He was able to turn around in time before I could and picked it off.”
Did you say anything to him after his salsa dance?
“Nah, I could care less. I got the best of him throughout the game, so it wasn’t worth it.”
Can you talk about getting called into punt return duty?
“Yes I got thrown into the fire a little bit. I just had to come in with very little experience and do my job. I just do whatever is asked of me by the coaches, and I got it done.”
Talk about the touchdown pass to [TE] Vernon Davis?
“I should have taken him carrying it across. That is something we went over. We communicated. I have to take full responsibility on that. That is on me. For some reason I assumed we had a guy over there. His man went vertical. I have to be over the top of that one.”
So you should have been running with him?
“Yeah, I should have been running with him. At least just trying to clear him off and get in his way, just try to disturb that route. We knew they were going to run that route. We weren’t really expecting it in the red zone, that’s the thing, but they ran that in the red zone.”
Were you surprised they came out throwing so much?
“I felt like all week to watch out for the run, but maybe they want to come out and pass you have to be ready for that, that is what we practiced too. You have to ready for the pass and the run that is just a part of defense.”
Did [QB] Alex Smith surprise you at all?
“I thought he was pretty accurate for the most part. I thought he made some pretty good reads. He still ran out. If trouble came, he is going to run the ball. We saw him do that on film too. We didn’t know if he was going to try to do that against us, but he did. We were going to try to make him pay for it as best as possible.”
Did they surprise you a little with the passing?
“We weren’t surprised. Teams are going to do things that are out of their character when they play against us. That was just something that we had to adjust to. It didn’t surprise us, but it was out of their character. This is football. A game is about match-ups and adjustments. We had to make those adjustments. They came out and played hard and you have to give credit to them, but I wouldn’t say that we were caught off guard or surprised or anything like that. It was that we didn’t make the necessary adjustments out there on the field.”
How big of a blow were those two touchdowns in about a minute?
“That was real tough. Our offense played their asses off. They had a couple of nice drives and were there towards the end and we as a defense cannot continue to put them in those situations, regardless of who is out there on the field. We just have to get it done, bottom line.”
Did you think you were going to come down and score in the end?
“There was no doubt in my mind and it is getting to the point now that there is a lot of talk about [QB] Eli [Manning]: if he is a leader, if he is this, if he is that. On the sideline in the fourth quarter of the game, there is nobody that we would want handling the ball more than Eli Manning. He drives down and he manages that offense very well. Everyone listens to and responds to him as a leader. We just have to do our part on defense.”
Is it almost a surprise when it doesn’t happen, when you don’t have a fourth quarter comeback?
“Absolutely, that is a testament of how good he has been late in games. The offense is doing their job in terms of putting us in a position to win, we just have to step up on defense and do the same thing.”
Can you talk about the play that you almost connected with Eli with for a touchdown?
“Should have came down with it. I should have layed out. I should have came down with it.
What was the confidence like when you walked down the field at the end of the game? Did you think you were going to put it into the end zone there?
“Oh yeah, no question”
How frustrating was it that you did not?
“Hopefully we see them again. But we will bounce back next week.”
Is this a team you plan on seeing further down the line?
“Yeah, oh yeah. They are a good team. We are a good team. We will run back into them.”
What happened with your knee this week? Were you worried about playing today?
“It swelled up. But no, I played today. I wasn’t worried.”
The 49ers surprise you at all? The way they’ve played this season.
“Yeah, they are good. They are a good football team.”
What changed later in the game? It seemed like the offense started clicking.
“We just started communicating, penetrating and getting in the right spot.
What wasn’t working earlier?
“I play wide receiver. I have a short term memory.”
On his touchdown catch:
“That was the first we actually caught that safety coming down. He was playing over the top of me the entire game. But once we saw him coming we had the right play called and Eli put it in the right spot, the perfect spot.”
It seemed like most of the game they were playing conservative with their two safeties deep, they were forcing you to play underneath more.
“Definitely, they kept those safeties over the top. Kind of challenging us to run the ball a little bit.”
Are you convinced that is what you going to see from now on? A lot of that two safety look?
“Maybe, I think it’s a possibility. It all depends; some secondaries feel confident enough to still man up. We have some good teams down the stretch, so we will see how it goes.”
What adjustments do you have to make going into the next week?
“First off we have to critique ourselves on this film. See what we need to do better, see the things we did wrong. Get back out there and have a good week of practice because we have a division rival.”
Did you think [WR] Mario Manningham was going to run under that deep post for the touchdown?
“Definitely, every time the ball comes to one of us I have confidence that we are going to pull it down. You know, things happen. If you play wide receiver you have to have a short term memory.”
What about yourself, you’ve been working your way back from practice, did you feel confident going into this game?
“Definitely. Saturday when I got the green light I was pretty confident going in. I got a good warm-up before the game; once I was out there the injury was out of sight, out of mind. I didn’t think about it.”
You weren’t limited in anyway? You felt like yourself?
“Yeah I felt like myself pretty much out there. Especially once I got warmed up. By the second or third series I was pretty good.”
How good did that 14-yard reception feel?
“It felt great. I am glad I could be a part of keeping us on the field, keeping that drive going that eventually led to a touchdown. It kind of gave us a little spark and got the guys motivated.”
What can you say about your role and [FB]
“I don’t know. You are going to have to talk to him about that. I don’t know much about it. That is between him, the coaches and the training staff, but we will see.”
Where ever they put you, you will play?
“I’m that utility, multi-position guy. If he comes back this next week and I have to go back to tight end, then I am going back to tight end. I will bust my butt there or if I stay at fullback, either way.”
Can you talk a little about the onside kick and if it caught you guys off guard?
“Yes, his onside kicks are kind of abnormal because he doesn’t give it away. You can usually tell when it is coming by the alignment and how he places the ball, but his whole approach to the ball was like a deep kick. So you never know when it is going to come. So when he did kick it, it still caught us off guard because the height of the ball looked like it was going deep and then it just dropped. Even though we paused a little bit too late we just have to be better at it.”
On the touchdown run, what happened on that one?
“There was a puller and I just got caught up on the inside and I had to end up bouncing to the outside. By the time I bounced to the outside, I didn’t have an angle and he outran me.”
So they are pulling guards?
“Yes. They are pulling guards, fullbacks, tight ends, but that is the offense that they use. We have a good defense, they just got us on that one play.”
RB D.J. Ware
What did you think of the 49er’s defensive performance today
“They did good. You have to take your hat off to them. They were trying to be around the ball. We came out and had a chance to win. We just came out just a little short at the end. I think we will see these guys again.”
Did you expect to be back in this game?
“We never stopped fighting. Even when we were down by two touchdowns we never stopped fighting. We believed we could win. We came so close to tying it up and going into overtime. We feel sore. Now we just got to go home and get back to the drawing board and figure out how to not fall short.”
Do you like your chances in a rematch?
“We definitely like our chances in a rematch. We just have to wait until that day comes. Right now we are on our way to Philly. We have to prepare for them now.”
Did you expect to get to play as much as you did?
“It was a blessing. I didn’t really know how much I was going to get to play in the fourth quarter. They just threw me out there. I just tried to help my team the best I could.”
What do you think went wrong on defense to all the 49ers to accumulate a lot of yards and to get a couple scores there late in the second half?
“We had some miscues. Some players went down to injury. They are a great team. We had some young guys in there. I think they played their butt off. We came up a little short. I think we fought well, everybody stayed together and didn’t put their heads down. We just lost to a really good football team today.”
How did the loss of [LB]
“Everybody prepares and practices like starters. When you lose the leader on defense, the guy that calls all the signals, that is hard sometimes. I think the other guys did a great job stepping in.”
You have seen [QB] Eli Manning come in and make so many fourth quarter comebacks, is it a surprise when he doesn’t come through?
“We put a lot on him. The game could have gone a lot of different ways. We could have helped him out. We don’t want to put pressure on him just to go down there and do that all the time. We need to help him out. I think he played well, we just fell a little short.”
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