Teammates supportive of Kyle Williams following costly errors
Kyle Williams will forever be associated with the NFC Championship Game.
No matter how you cut it, the wide receiver will be remembered for fumbling one punt return and letting another bounce off his leg – turnovers that led to the final 10 points of the game for the New York Giants in a 20-17 overtime victory at Candlestick Park.
It’s a team loss and there were other contributing factors but Williams is still the goat.
“You hate to be the last guy that had the ball, to give it up that way in that fashion and to lose a game of this magnitude," Williams , according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “But it is what it is, and we're going to move forward as a team.”
Williams was filling in for Ted Ginn Jr., who missed the game with an injured knee. His first error was getting too close to a bouncing punt that Devin Thomas recovered for the Giants after it went off Williams’ leg and the Giants won a replay challenge. In overtime, he was stripped of the ball, setting up the winning field goal by Lawrence Tynes that booted the Giants into Super Bowl XLVI and the 49ers straight into the offseason.
“Hopefully, he doesn't beat himself up too hard," safety Donte Whitner said. "Hopefully, the media's not on him too tough. Because he's still a young player, and he still has a bright future in the National Football League.
"There's just certain things that you can't do in certain situations. We have to protect the ball at all times. I think he learns that now, and he'll be better."
That was just one of several supportive statements for Williams after the game. Still, it’s something he won’t escape anytime soon.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune