Kyle Williams, San Francisco’s 2nd-year receiver/kick returner from Arizona State, made two costly turnovers in the NFC Championship game, and his second one – a fumble in overtime deep in his own territory – sent the New York Giants to the Super Bowl.
With Ted Ginn out (knee), rookie coach Jim Harbaugh made a questionable decision to have Williams return punts. He had only fielded two in the regular season. As the Chronicle reports, Williams had an eerily similar moment in college when he botched a punt deep in his own end against rival Arizona, and the Wildcats kicked a field goal to win, 20-17. In hindsight, should Harbaugh have considered Michael Crabtree, who hasn’t returned a punt in his NFL career, but arguably has the best hands on the team?
Williams awful day – he fumbled a lateral in the first half, too, but was able to recover when New York’s Osi Umenyiora couldn’t – was capped by a lonely moment in the locker room after the game when he dressed alone and left. Then Williams – who is the son of White Sox GM Kenny Williams – went to his computer, fired up his twitter account, and … received a death threat from some loser. Fans! They’re the best.
Teammate Patrick Willis – who was beastly against the Giants with eight tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss and two pulverizing hits on Eli Manning – offered words of encouragement to Williams.