With the score tied on Sunday night and a trip to the Super Bowl on the line, 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman appeared to make the play of the game when he stripped Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. But the officials ruled it differently.
The ruling on the field was that Bradshaw’s forward progress had been stopped before the ball came loose, and that ruling cannot be challenged. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said afterward that to his eyes, it looked like the wrong call.
“It looked like a fumble,” Harbaugh said, via CSNBayArea.com. “Every play that happened in the game except that one was played out to the conclusion of the play.”
If it had been ruled a fumble, the 49ers would have had the ball at the 20-yard line just before the two-minute warning, and they likely would have won the game in regulation. Instead the Giants kept the ball and ended up winning in overtime.
Said 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin in a Twitter message late Sunday night, “I will forever hate the words forward progress.”
Many 49ers fans will join him in that.