Originally posted on NBC Bay Area  |  Last updated 1/22/12
In the end, the 49ers’ storybook season was slammed shut suddenly and in the most unlikely manner. A San Francisco team that had built a magical season and advanced within one win of the Super Bowl by playing mistake-free football was eliminated by two horrific mistakes by punt returner Kyle Williams in the New York Giants’ 20-17 overtime victory Sunday over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game at soggy Candlestick Park. The 49ers – who had a plus-28 turnover ratio in the regular season and were plus-4 in their playoff victory over the Saints last week – turned the ball over twice late in the game to allow victory to slip from their grasp. Williams, who was returning punts in place of injured Ted Ginn Jr., muffed one punt in the fourth quarter – allowing the ball to tick off his knee and be recovered by New York at the San Francisco 29 – which set up a 17-yard Eli Manning-to-Mario Manningham touchdown pass that put the Giants up 17-14 with just over eight minutes remaining. The 49...
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