2011 Season Recap, NFC Championship Game: 49ers Vs. Giants

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is hit from behind by Justin Smith #94 of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

This is the final chapter in Niners Nation's 2011 Season Recap of the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers were fresh off a win against the New Orleans Saints and had homefield advantage in this one. The Niners already defeated the Giants at Candlestick in Week 10 earlier in the season.

For this game, Delanie Walker returned to action after suffering a broken jaw against Seattle. On offense, Kyle Williams and Michael Crabtree started at wide receiver.

1st quarter

49ers receive opening kickoff.

On first down, the handoff to Frank Gore up the middle went for a gain of 4. On 2nd and 6, Alex Smith play-faked and checked it down to Gore, who made moves and picked up enough for a first down after a possible loss of yardage. On 1st and 10, Kendall Hunter took the handoff for a short loss.

Mike Iupati left the game with a hurt ankle, replaced by Chilo Rachal. The injury didn't keep Iupati out long.

On 2nd and 11, Gore took the handoff for 7 yards. On 3rd and 4, Smith threw incomplete for Gore to force a fourth down.

On first down, Eli Manning dropped back and threw incomplete for Hakeem Nicks, well behind his receiver. On 2nd and 10, Manning went deep down the middle for his tight end Travis Beckum who couldn't reel it in; Carlos Rogers on the coverage.

On 3rd and 10, Manning from the shotgun delivered complete to Victor Cruz for a 12-yard gain and a first down. On first down, the handoff to Ahmad Bradshaw up the middle is swarmed by the 49ers and went nowhere. On 2nd and 10, Bradshaw with the handoff again, this time fights hard for a gain of 2.

On 3rd and 8, Manning from the shotgun - with no pressure - threw complete to Nicks on the comeback for the first down. On 2nd and 10, Bradshaw tried to get around the edge but was met by NaVorro Bowman - only a gain of 2. On 3rd and 8, Manning was chased out of the pocket and caught by Ray McDonald who forced a fumble, recovered by Kareem McKenzie - 4th down.

On 1st and 10, Smith's attempt on the quick throw was batted down at the line. On 2nd and 10, Smith threw a perfect pass to Vernon Davis, beating Antrel Rolle on the wheel route and taking it for a 73-yard touchdown.

The touchdown was Davis' third of the postseason and put San Francisco up 7-0 early.

On first down, Manning delivered complete to Beckum on the quick throw, tackled by Patrick Willis for a gain of 4. On 2nd and 6, the handoff to Bradshaw goes for 3 yards, tripped up by Bowman. On 3rd and 3, Manning from the shotgun threw complete to Nicks, who went low for the 7-yard catch and first down.

On 1st and 10, Manning threw short to Brandon Jacobs, who gained 5 before being tackled by Willis. On 2nd and 5, Bradshaw took the carry for 7 yards after breaking outside, caught by Willis after the first down was picked up. On 1st and 10, Bradshaw took the carry up the middle for a gain of 1, met by Isaac Sopoaga.

On 2nd and 9, Manning threw to his full back Henry Hynoski, tackled by Tarell Brown. On 3rd and 1, Manning's throw was tipped and incomplete.

The Giants decided to go for it on 4th and 1: Jacobs with the carry is stuffed by NaVorro Bowman.

On 1st and 10, Hunter took the handoff, pitched it to Kyle Williams on the end around, who never got control. The ball was almost recovered by Osi Umenyiora, but Williams managed to maintain possession. On 3rd and 14, Smith from the shotgun escaped pressure and threw a wobbly pass to Williams on the sideline, almost picked off by Aaron Ross.

On 1st and 10, Manning threw to the sideline, incomplete pass intended for Nicks. On 2nd and 10, Jacobs on the carry took the handoff, met by a gang of 49ers tacklers.

2nd quarter

On 3rd and 6, Manning from the shotgun threw deep down the right sideline, complete to Victor Cruz for 36 yards. On 2nd and 5, Manning improvised with Carlos Rogers on him, throwing it to behind him to Bradshaw who took it for a short gain, tackled by Bowman.

On 3rd and 4, Cruz got underneath Rogers out of the slot, making the catch in the middle for a first down, met by Bowman. On 1st and 10, Manning completed to Nicks, tackled by Willis half a yard shy of the first down. On 2nd and 1, Jacobs bulled forward for a gain of 2 and a first down inside the SF-10.

On 1st and goal, Manning threw to Nicks in the back of the end zone, in and out of the hands of his wide receiver. On 2nd and goal, Manning threw underneath to his tight end and former 49er, Bear Pascoe, who lowered his shoulder and walked in for a touchdown. Pascoe's 6-yard touchdown reception tied the game at 7.

On 1st and 10, Kyle Williams beat the coverage down the middle of the field and Alex Smith with too much air under the ball, overthrew an easy touchdown. On 2nd and 10, Smith from the shotgun faked the handoff to Hunter and took it himself for a gain of 8.

On 3rd and 2, Williams made the first down reception on the hook-route - NYG PENALTY - an illegal hands to the face from Aaron Ross on Kyle Williams gave San Francisco the first down and more. On 1st and 10, Gore took the handoff up the middle for a gain of 4.

On 2nd and 6, Gore with some powerful running took it up the middle for 7 yards and a first down. On first down, Gore with the carry took it for a gain of 7. On 2nd and 3, Gore bounced it outside and found some room, getting the first down and more.

On 2nd and 10, Smith faked the handoff and ran outside for a gain of 5. On 3rd and 5, Smith found no one after going through his progressions, decided to take it himself and was tripped up 2 yards short of the first down marker.

On first down, Bradshaw took the delayed handoff, and danced around for a medium gain. On 2nd and 4, Cruz - sitting on his route - made the reception at the first down marker after Rogers fell down. On first down, Bradshaw gained 6, taking it outside.

On 2nd and 4, Bradshaw took the delayed handoff and was swarmed by 49ers defenders, including Dashon Goldson and NaVorro Bowman. On 3rd and 2, Bowman blitzed up the middle and wrapped up Manning for a sack, forcing 4th down.

On first down, Gore with the carry was brought down for a loss of 1. On 2nd and 11, Gore took the handoff up the middle for a gain of 2. On 3rd and 9, Smith ran to avoid rushers and was tripped up for a short gain - 4th down.

On 2nd and 10, Cruz made a 15-yard reception, taking the Giants to midfield. On 2nd and 10, Manning found Cruz coming across the field, taking it for a first down, working Carlos Rogers. On 2nd and 10, Manning evaded rushers and threw to Cruz who made an acrobatic diving catch for 17 yards.

With 6 seconds left, the Giants settled for a 31-yard field goal to take the lead before half, 10-7 NYG.

3rd quarter

On 1st and 10, Bradshaw cut the run outside and with some shifty running, picked up 9. On 2nd and 1, Bradshaw with the carry was met by Parys Haralson and Patrick Willis, dropped at the line of scrimmage. On 3rd and 1, Manning threw incomplete to Bradshaw in the flat, Ahmad Brooks on the coverage.

On first down, Smith held on to the ball too long and was sacked by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul. On 2nd and 17, Smith threw short to Gore in the flat who picked up just 3. On third and long, Smith escaped pressure and scrambled near the left sideline out of bounds, but a late hit by Aaron Ross gave San Francisco a much needed fresh set of downs.

On 1st and 10, Kendall Hunter came on the cutback for a gain of 14 and a first down. On 1st and 10, Gore took the carry for a gain of 4. On 3rd and 6, Smith escaped trouble, and threw across his body intended for Delanie Walker, batted down incomplete.

On first down, Manning completed to Cruz for a gain of 6, tackled by Chris Culliver. On 2nd and 4, Manning went back to Cruz on the slant for a first down. On 1st and 10, Jacobs with the carry went up the middle for a short gain.

On 2nd and 8, Manning threw to Jacobs in the flat, tackled by Tarell Brown. On 3rd and 5, with the blitz coming off the edge, Manning threw out of bounds to avoid the sack.

On first down, Gore took the handoff, stopped short by Pierre-Paul. On 2nd and 8, Smith play-faked and threw short to Gore who had a lot of room, taking it up the field for a nice 20-plus-yard gain.

On 1st and 10, Smith with protection threw deep to the end zone, complete to Vernon Davis who leapt up between defenders. Alex Smith delivered a perfect ball to Davis in the end zone to regain the lead, making it 14-10.

On 2nd and 10, Bradshaw danced a bit before being swallowed up after a 3-yard gain. On 3rd and 7, Ray McDonald led a swarming 49ers front, sacking Eli Manning.

On 2nd and 7, Smith's pass intended for Gore was deflected at the line of scrimmage. On 3rd and 7, Smith from the shotgun threw short to Gore who was taken down well behind the first down marker.

On 1st and 10, Jacobs with the carry picked up 5 yards. On 2nd and 5, Manning play-faked and decided to throw it away. On 3rd and 5, Manning threw for Hakeem Nicks - Brown and Goldson, both with clear shots at an interception, collided and Brown had to leave the game.

4th quarter

On 1st and 10, Gore with some shifty running took it up for a medium gain. On 2nd and 4, Dixon had a lot of room but was tripped up for only a gain of 3. On 3rd and 1, Dixon was stopped short of the first down.

On 2nd and 10, Manning stepped up in the pocket and was sacked by Aldon Smith. On 3rd and 15, Aldon Smith with pressure forced Manning to throw incomplete, intended for Bradshaw. The Giants punted to the Niners, and Kyle Williams allowed the ball to bounce, which appeared to have hit the right knee of the return man - recovered by NYG.

On 1st and 10, Bradshaw took the carry for a 3-yard gain. On 2nd and 7, Manning got hit by Justin Smith, getting rid of the football to avoid the sack. On 3rd and 7, Nicks made the reception for the first down, working the middle of the field.

On 1st and 10, Bradshaw took the carry up the middle for a gain of 6 - NYG PENALTY - holding on center David Baas. On 1st and 20, Manning's pass intended for Hakeem Nicks was broken up by Dashon Goldson. On 2nd and 20, Manning threw short to Bradshaw, tackled by Rogers after a gain of 5.

On 3rd and 15, Manning threw to the end zone, complete to Mario Manningham for a 17-yard touchdown. The Manningham score put the Giants back on top at 17-14.

Kyle Williams took the following kickoff for a big gainer out to near midfield - a 40-yard return.

On 1st and 10, Smith just missed Walker down the left sideline - NYG PENALTY - illegal hands to face by Kenny Phillips gave the 49ers 5 yards from the spot of the foul and an automatic first down. On 1st and 10, Smith flushed out of the pocket scrambled through traffic for a 17-yard gain and a first down into Giants territory.

On first down, Hunter took a toss on a well-designed play, breaking it open for 18 yards and a fresh set of downs. On 1st and 10, Smith threw short to Gore for a gain of 5. On 3rd and 5, Smith out of the shotgun completed to Crabtree for a 3-yard gain, short of the first down marker.

The David Akers field goal tied the game at 17-all.

On 3rd and 8, Manningham threw to Beckum in the middle of the field, blown up by Patrick Willis, short of the first down. A nice third-and-out with time running down in the fourth quarter boded well for San Francisco.

On 1st and 10, Smith play-faked, and with no one open, threw it away. On 2nd and 10, Smith from the shotgun handed off to Gore who took it up the middle for a 3-yard gain. On 3rd and 7, Smith from the shotgun was sacked by Mathais Kiwanuka, followed by more Giants tacklers.

On first down, Manning dropped back and was wrapped up by a blitzing Patrick Willis. On 2nd and 21, Manning threw short to Bradshaw who gained 6 - the ball was stripped by Bowman and recovered by San Francisco but the referees ruled that forward progress had been stopped. On 3rd and 15, Manning's pass downfield went incomplete, intended for Cruz.

On 1st and 10, Smith from the shotgun, with no one open, threw it away. On 2nd and 10, Smith from the shotgun threw too low for Crabtree, incomplete. On third and long, Smith fired incomplete downfield - 4th down.

OT

The Giants won the toss and elected to receive.

On first down, Manning threw complete to Hynoski in the flat for a gain of 9. On 2nd and 1, Manning went deep for Cruz - Rogers undercut the route for an interception, but Goldson ran into him. On 2nd and 10, Bradshaw took the carry for a 4-yard gain. On 3rd and 6, Manning from the shotgun threw incomplete - 4th down.

On 2nd and 10, Smith handed off to Gore, stopped behind the line by Pierre-Paul. On 3rd and 12, Smith threw complete to Davis in a tight window between two defenders, just short of the first down.

On 1st and 10, Bradshaw took the handoff for a gain of 6, stopped by Justin Smith. On 2nd and 4, Manning completed to Beckum in the middle, enough for a first down. On 1st and 10, Manning checked down to Hynoski, blown up by Willis for a gain of just 1.

On 3rd and 3, Manning from the shotgun was sacked by Justin Smith - the 6th 49ers sack of the day.

Steve Weatherford punted downfield to Kyle Williams - after a few steps, the ball was knocked out by Jaqwaan Williams and recovered by Devin Thomas. The Giants recovered the ball already in field goal range.

On 1st and 10, Bradshaw took the handoff and cut it outside for a medium gain. On 2nd and 2, Bradshaw took the handoff for a first down, inside the SF-10. On 1st and 10, Bradshaw with the carry took it to the 6-yard line.

Lawrence Tynes came out for a 31-yard field goal - the attempt was good, and the Giants would advance to the Super Bowl with a 20-17 OT win over the San Francisco 49ers.

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