Once it became clear that Ted Ginn wouldn’t be playing for the 49ers on Sunday, the return game landed in the hands of Kyle Williams, a San Jose native who arrived via round six of the 2010 draft.
And Williams wears the goat horns on Monday, via a muffed punt that bounced off his leg and a fumble while trying to make something happen on the home team’s second shot at the ball in overtime, or at a minimum to try to give the Niners an edge in the field-position chess match that was unfolding in the slog of the fifth quarter. With the Giants’ second drive sputtering at their own 44 and Steve Weatherford’s punt landing in Williams’ hands at the San Fran 19, the boost from a good return could have helped the 49ers get in position for the game-winning boot.
But another Williams, Jacquian of the Giants, got his hand on the ball as Kyle tried to switch it to his left arm, and out it came.
Now, as chronicled by Jon Becker of BayAreaNewsGroup.com via the disturbing new pop-up-book “storify” style, Kyle Williams is feeling the brunt of the blame from many fans, thanks to the instant access to athletes provided by Twitter.
His teammates have been kind and supportive, at least publicly. “The game didn’t come down to Kyle Williams — it never did,” defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois said, via Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “We could’ve ended that game many times.”
He’s right. In the end, the Niners were done in by the kind of breaks that they usually make. And Ginn, who’ll be a free agent in March, suddenly has even greater value than ever to the 49ers.