Friday, April 27, 2018
Sports

Lawrence Tynes boots New York Giants past San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in overtime to reach Super Bowl against New England Patriots

SAN FRANCISCO — The Giants have their Super Bowl formula down pat: in overtime, on the road — and Lawrence Tynes' foot.

Tynes made a 31-yard field goal 7:54 into overtime, sending the Giants to the Super Bowl with a 20-17 victory over the 49ers in Sunday's NFC title game.

In New York's last appearance in the NFC title game, January 2008, Tynes made a field goal in overtime at Green Bay.

"It's amazing," Tynes said. "I had dreams about this last night. It was from 42, not 31. But I was so nervous (Sunday) before the game just anticipating this kind of game.

"I'm usually pretty cool, but there was something about (Sunday) where I knew I was going to have to make a kick."

Eli Manning went 32-for-58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns in his record fifth road playoff win and New York's fifth consecutive playoff win.

Victor Cruz caught 10 passes (eight in the first half) for 142 yards for New York.

"It's just been a tremendous effort by all of us," Cruz said. "We understand that any one of us can get hot at any moment. As long as we're all on the same page and just playing together, we've got a great group of guys."

A week after catching the winning touchdown against the Saints, tight end Vernon Davis caught touchdown passes of 73 and 28 yards and wound up with three catches for 112 yards for the 49ers, who went from 6-10 a year ago to ending an eight-year playoff drought.

"It will be a tough one," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It will take a while to get over."

Devin Thomas put the Giants in position for Tynes. He recovered his second fumble of the game after Jacquian Williams stripped the ball from punt returner Kyle Williams.

Williams, returning kicks in place of the injured Ted Ginn, muffed a punt early in the fourth to set up a go-ahead touchdown for New York, then was stripped in overtime to give the Giants the ball at the 24.

"It was one of those situations where I caught the ball, tried to head upfield, tried to make a play and it ended up for the worse," Williams said.

"You hate to be the last guy that had the ball, to give it away in that fashion and to lose a game of this magnitude. It is what it is. We're going to move forward as a team. Everyone has come to pat me on the back and the shoulder to say it's not me."

After three runs and a kneel-down, Tynes kicked the winner.

"I told him we're all in this together," 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis said. "I believe in him. If I had a do-over, he'd still be my guy back there. He's a tremendous athlete."

The 49ers converted just one of 13 third downs, the only conversion coming on the final play of regulation, leaving plenty of blame to go to players besides Williams.

"We all know him," said quarterback Alex Smith, who was 12-of-26 for 196 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

"We know how committed he is to winning. It's not on him. I look at the 1-for-13 on third downs. I know he's going to feel bad, but he's still part of our team. We didn't lose the game there. We lost it across the board offensively. We just couldn't get it done."

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