Calling Sunday’s contest between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers another game on the schedule would be inaccurate. This is not your typical game in week six. The 49ers-Giants rivalry was already huge before last year’s regular-season game and the NFC Championship. After those two games the rivalry has brewed even bigger with the hatred between the two teams, especially the fans, at a fever pitch.
The Giants return to Candlestick Park with a 3-2 record, the place where they beat the 49ers 20-17 in overtime to move on to and eventually win the Super Bowl. There were numerous reasons why San Francisco lost the NFC Championship game like the offense not having any legitimate receiving threats other than Vernon Davis and the defense allowing Victor Cruz to have 10 catches for 142 yards. Most Niner fans will point to and blamed Kyle Williams for the loss. Williams fumbled two punt returns in the game, the last one set up the game winning field goal for the Giants.
As easy as it is to blame Williams for the loss, the 49ers offense and defense had multiple chances before the fumbles to win the game. With the 49ers offense and defense not making the big plays, Williams put it on himself to get the team the win. Unfortunately, that ended badly for Williams and the 49ers, but you have to give him credit for trying to step up and for the resiliency he has shown since the end of the NFC Championship game. Now less than a year after Williams’ fumbles, he has an opportunity on Sunday to make everyone forget about his mistakes.
Of course, after what happened last year, I want to get back at these guys, Kyle Williams said Tuesday. It’s nothing other than any other team that beat us last year.
See what Williams did with his statement about the facing the Giants this week? He gives his honest assessment first, and then follows up with a more diplomatic statement. They can call it the next game on the schedule, but there is no doubt 49ers players and coaches have extra motivation for this week’s game. Niner fans and players know they were the better team that day but the Giants took advantage of mistakes and the 49ers did not. The fact that the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl magnified the loss even more for the 49ers and Williams.
With an injury to Ted Ginn Jr. that caused him to miss the first three games of the season, Williams shook off the memories from the NFC Championship game and handled punt returns. Ginn is returning punts again, but since the Vikings game Williams has taken over kickoff returns from Kendall Hunter and has done a really good job. He is averaging 35.7 yards per kickoff return this season. Williams showed in the Vikings loss he can provide a spark for the 49ers with his 94-yard kickoff return to start the second half. But on Sunday Williams has a great chance to make Niner fans forget about his fumble debacle and get redemption on the Giants.
Kyle Williams on the game,
We look at is as: They have something we should have had. We’re not going to leave anything on the field this time.
Niner Noise will be attending the Giants vs. 49ers, follow us on Twitter @SFNinerNoise for updates before and during the game at the stadium.