You can't hang a moral victory on the wall but the San Francisco 49ers offense had to feel much better about themselves after their performance vs. the NY Giants. There was a rotation at the right guard position between Jordan Devey and Andrew Tiller throughout the game which has potential to break up the consistency of the play, but Carlos Hyde actually stated that they played so consistently that he couldn't tell who was in or out. Maybe the competition sparked a fire underneath both players, maybe it was just what they needed.
The mood in the locker room was light years away from the depression of the last two losses and although the end of this game was a heart breaker, there seemed to be some resolve amongst the players, some sense that there were intangibles accomplished that made this loss easier to take. Colin Kaepernick seemed more confident in the game as well as at the podium. He ended the night 23/35 for 262 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs and an 87.5 QB rating. He spoke to the media after the game.
Several of your teammates said you played with a lot more confidence this week. Did you feel that way out there and was this kind of more like yourself?
I can't say like my old self, I'm going to be me, but I thought this team played well. Offensively I thought we came out, we got a rhythm, we had players make big plays for us.
With the rotation of Devey and Tiller in and out, how did that feel for you? Did it feel consistent or did you feel that rotation going in and out?
No, I thought they both played phenomenal. They came in, they did what they were asked. The offensive line played great tonight all around. They allowed Carlos [Hyde] to run and gave us time to throw the ball and a lot of receivers to make plays.
There was a lot of talk about the pressure, even Geep Chryst talked about the pressure on you. Did you feel pressure at all?
No. To me, I have to go back out and play football. It's a game at the end of the day. It's not life or death. I go out and I go to play. I play to win and I do everything I can to try and help this team win.
Anquan [Boldin] said after the game that he told you "Don't feel the pressure, put the pressure on us." Did he even need to say that, or how did you take it when he said that to you?
No, I took that as "allow us to make plays" and that's what he did tonight. Our receivers went out and made plays for us tonight. Our tight ends did. Our offensive line played great, and Carlos ran the ball well for us. Offensively, we played a pretty well rounded game.
You've said before that there's no such thing as moral victories, but does it feel good, though to get things clicking and firing on all cylinders tonight?
It's good offensively to get into a rhythm like that. It's something that we can build off moving forward, but we have to win games. That's why we play.
The rhythm started really in that first drive in the third quarter after the 37 yard completion to Anquan. What was it maybe that the defense was giving you that was different in the first half that allowed the passing game to open up and give Carlos some room?
They went one-on-one with Anquan a few times and we had the right play calling, Geep did a phenomenal job there, and we were able to make big plays on those. Anquan did a great job.
Anquan also mentioned that you got him out of some bad plays and into some good ones. Did you just feel a sense of clarity at the line of scrimmage or did you feel in the zone as far as making your pre snap reads?
There were plays that we had called for certain looks. Sometimes we didn't get those looks, we got other things. Ultimately my job is to try to put our offense in the best position to succeed on that play.
You had what looked like a game winning drive. Did you feel at the time that maybe you left too much time on the clock for Eli or does that even cross your mind?
No, that's not something that crosses your mind. We're down three at that point, we have an opportunity to score a touchdown and go up four. All you're thinking about is to get in the end zone and make sure we get up four so we don't allow them to go down and just kick a field goal.
The first half seemed more conservative and then you started taking some deep shots. Was that verbalized at half time?
Part of it [was] the looks we were getting from the defense. Depending on what the defense plays will allow us to do different things. They gave us good looks to take some shots and to get some one on ones and we were able to take advantage.
Looking at the season, you guys have lost 4 in a row but some of the players have said in the division we control our own fate. Is that the rallying cry now with this team?
To me there's still 11 more games. We have the opportunity to go 12 and 4. That's a good record and that's what we're aiming for. We have to get our first win under our belt to get that streak going and get on that path.
You looked like you had an "edge" tonight like you were fed up with not playing well and losing. Is that accurate?
I'm never going to accept losing. I'm never going to be happy with losing. I'm going to try to do everything I can to correct my part and put my teammates in a position to make plays and tonight we had a good opportunity to do some of those things, we weren't able to finish though.
Can you kind of gauge the mindset of the team now?
I think there's good and bad. We didn't get the win today which is what we're playing for. There's things we can build on on offense and our defense has always been phenomenal. So, I think its something moving forward we have confidence in what we're able to do, we just have to put a complete game together.