49ers cornerback Chris Culliver became a lot better known during Super Bowl week thanks to his negative take on the idea of having a homosexual teammate and he garnered more attention for the wrong reasons on the field Sunday.
Culliver was targeted often by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco and wound up figuring into a couple of the biggest plays of the game. In the first half, he was beaten badly by wide receiver Jacoby Jones when Flacco underthrew a bomb to Jones that the receiver caught while falling down as Culliver ran past him. Jones was then able to get up and run into the end zone to extend the Baltimore lead.
Then Culliver was flagged for pass interference on a pass intended for Torrey Smith on third-and-9 with under nine minutes to play in the game. The Ravens were able to get three points and eat 5:38 of clock on the drive, both of which were crucial to stopping the bleeding that had turned a 28-6 rout into a 31-29 nailbiter. Jim Harbaugh complained about the call after the game and Culliver was upset that Smith wasn’t flagged for offensive pass interference earlier in the game, but the damage was done.
“I know that he feels bad,” linebacker Patrick Willis said, via USA Today. “Cully is competitive, and he wants to win on every play. Today he had a tough one, and I stand behind him and I know what kind of player he is. This is only going to fuel him to make it better.”
If only there were some kind of video to remind Culliver that it can get better for him after a rough first trip to the Super Bowl.