Kyle Williams: Where Does San Francisco 49ers WR Rank Among Sunday's Goats?

Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 22:  Kyle Williams #10 of the San Francisco 49ers
 runs the ball as Aaron Ross #31 of the New York Giants defends during the NFC Championship Game at Candlestick Park on January 22, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The ecstasy enjoyed by the New England Patriots and the New York Giants on NFL Championship Sunday was matched only by the agony endured by the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

Both conference title runners-up saw their Super Bowl hopes dashed by a select few players on an even more select few plays in rather sickening fashion.

So, mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the biggest goat of them all?


3. Lee Evans

You could make a rather convincing argument that Lee Evans was, in fact, the biggest goat of the day on Sunday. Officially speaking, Evans had what would've been the game-winning touchdown within his grasp but was ultimately unable to haul in a 14-yard pass from Joe Flacco while covered by Sterling Moore, an undrafted rookie out of SMU who spent the first month of the season on the Oakland Raiders' practice squad.

Upon closer review, though, there's some question as to whether Evans is truly at fault for the result of the play at all. Aside from Moore doing an excellent job of knocking the ball out of his hands, it appears that Evans may actually have possessed the ball in the end zone before Moore intervened.

In that case, the guilty goatee would belong first to the referee who made the call and then to the crew in the booth for not reviewing it.

Ultimately, though, if Evans hangs onto that ball, the Ravens are in the Super Bowl. Case closed.


2. Kyle Williams

Then again, at least Lee Evans caught the other three balls Joe Flacco flung his way.

Kyle Williams, on the other hand, missed out on all four of the throws Alex Smith directed toward him, was involved in a botched reverse (that he ultimately recovered) and, most memorably (or unforgettably), was responsible for two turnovers on punts. The first one grazed his leg and led to an Eli Manning touchdown pass to Mario Manningham to put the Giants ahead, 17-14, midway through the fourth quarter.

The second came out of Williams' hands upon contact in overtime, giving Big Blue a short field and the 31-yard Lawrence Tynes boot that sealed the deal.

What's worse, Williams wouldn't have even been fielding punts and kicks if not for an injury to Niners return specialist Ted Ginn Jr., who sat out the game with a right knee injury.


1. Billy Cundiff

But while Kyle Williams may have given the game away, he was never directly involved in the scoring plays made by the Giants on the possessions he gave away.

Billy Cundiff, on the other hand, was staring down the barrel of a 32-yarder to send the AFC Championship Game into overtime and flat-out shanked it wide left. Cundiff was a Pro Bowler with Baltimore just last season and had previously put through a 20-yarder and a 39-yarder in the game.

Cundiff likely would've been headed back to Hawaii this time around if not for his awful boot work away from M&T Bank Stadium this season—he went 19-of-19 at home but managed a mere 11-of-20 on the road prior to Sunday's game.

Perhaps, then, we should've seen Cundiff's failure coming from a mile away. Even so, the game was in his hands (or rather on his foot) and he clearly failed to deliver. Hence, Billy is, indeed, the biggest goat of Championship Sunday, with or without further explanation.