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It’s another season of finishing close for 49ers
Question of the Day
And given all of the physical, heated games between Willis‘ San Francisco 49ers and the Seahawks, that just goes to show the respect these franchises also have for each other even when things turn tense.
“Someone has to win, someone has to lose. Unfortunately we lost today,” Willis said. “Seattle did what they needed to do to win. Them being in the NFC and in our division, I wish them luck. I hope they go and take care of business for the NFC.”
This is another near miss for the Niners, who lost in the NFC championship game after the 2011 season and again this year. They fell short 34-31 in last year’s Super Bowl defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
“I still think we’re the best team,” wide receiver Anquan Boldin said.
For a franchise eager to rediscover the old dynasty, San Francisco will get a fresh start in 2014 at its new $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium at team headquarters looking for another special season and to take the success one step further.
“It’s great competition,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Not many people get to be in this arena. I’m proud of our guys for the fight they showed today and all season.”
In a scene reminiscent of the way last season ended in the New Orleans Superdome in the Super Bowl, Colin Kaepernick threw a pass in the end zone intended for Michael Crabtree. This time, Richard Sherman deflected the ball right to Malcolm Smith for a game-sealing interception.
“The matchup was in my mind, 1-on-1,” Kaepernick said. “I feel like we should have won that game.”
Yes, San Francisco (14-5) is left to head home for the offseason with a bitter taste again of what might have been, even with the daunting task for teams that reached the Super Bowl the year before to get back to the NFL’s big stage.
Harbaugh knows special seasons can be fleeting. All he has to do is turn to big brother, John, whose Ravens failed to even reach the playoffs 11 months after winning a championship.
That had been the case in their past two visits to Seattle, so taking care of the ball became a top priority for San Francisco to beat the Seahawks on their home field.
Kaepernick went 14 for 24 for 153 yards with two sacks and two interceptions, and the 49ers committed three fourth-quarter turnovers - all by Kaepernick - that made the difference through the deafening noise of CenturyLink Field.
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