49ers safety Donte Whitner voiced his opinion on the 2011 season and playoffs on the NFL Network’s NFL Total Access show on Tuesday. You can place the quote under the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve category:
“We came up short. We felt like we had an opportunity to beat the Giants. We felt like we matched up well with the Patriots, and the Giants go home with the trophy. … I feel like we would have beat the Patriots.”
It wouldn’t be a stretch to say most, if not all, Niner fans felt the same way about the 49ers chances in the Super Bowl against the Patriots. Also in the interview Whitner said he would have had two interceptions in the NFC Championship game, if not for the rain-soaked field that caused issues with footing on Candlesticks infamous field. The two interceptions sure would have helped.
Another intriguing line in the interview is Whitner talking about the Kyle Williams fumble, which has become the 49ers’ version of Bill Buckner: (click on the link below to watch the interview)
“It’s very tough. Especially when you come into training camp, and you set a goal, and your goal is to reach the Super Bowl and win that trophy. And you’re a few plays away from making it to your ultimate goal, it’s tough when you come up short. And you feel like, you know, it was a routine play (Williams’ turnover) — you catch it, you don’t fumble it. You know, but we do, and we lose the game, and our dream of going to the Super Bowl is gone with one play after all the work we put in all year. So it’s tough.”