No. 5: 2012 NFC Championship Game versus the New York Giants
Poor Kyle Williams. He’s the reason the New York Giants make this list twice, and for the wrong reasons.
The 2011 season put an end to San Francisco’s long playoff drought. It was the first year under then-head coach Jim Harbaugh. And the Niners rode his coaching ways, plus a stout defense and solid ground game from running back Frank Gore, deep into the postseason.
And all of it came crashing down on January 22, 2012.
Former tight end Vernon Davis twice gave the 49ers the lead, once in the first quarter and again in the third.
But at the 11:17 mark of the fourth quarter, and leading 14-10, Williams fumbled. New York recovered, culminating in a touchdown reception by Giants wideout Mario Manningham to give New York the lead.
San Francisco managed to tie things up and the game went into overtime. But another muffed punt by Williams set up a 31-yard game-winning field goal for the Giants, who pulled off the 20-17 stunner.
“It was one of those situations that ended up for the worst,” Williams said, via Ron Kroichick of SFGate.com. “It’s hard to be the last guy to have the ball, to have it end that way and lose a game of this magnitude.”
New York went on to win the Super Bowl a game later.