Last October, the 49ers were all alone in first place and already on their way to winning the NFC…
Harbaugh: 'It was a real football fight'
Harbaugh: That was the most physical 30 minutes of football, in that second half, that I've ever seen our team play. And just really, really pleased the way they covered kicks all night. The way we played defense. The way we played offense. The way we moved people up front. It was a physical first half, too. But, that second half was the most physical I've ever see our football team play. Really proud of them for that.
Q:You guys really seemed to get your groove in the third quarter. What happened during halftime that allowed you to get into that groove?
Harbaugh: Just point to the physical play of our offensive line. Coming off the ball there were some big holes. [RB] Frank [Gore] ran well. Receivers were blocking. [WR Michael Crabtree] Crab had a physical play early in the game breaking two or three tackles. But, it was just that kind of physical play. Some good plays were called and guys were feeling it and coming off the ball.
Q: Do you think these Thursday night games, both teams having played on a Sunday, they're showing the effects of a game four days later?
Harbaugh: I can't say for sure, make any grand statement. I just think it's a sweet win, and really proud of our guys. That's probably a question for the fellows. Ask them. Can't imagine it's really good for the body. But, I'm sure you can get first-hand opinion from them.
Q: Can you describe the confidence you feel when you get a 13-6 lead knowing your defense can hold it?
Harbaugh: Again, they were just playing so physically up front. [DT] Justin [Smith], [DT] Ray [McDonald], [NT] Isaac [Sopoaga], [LB] Aldon [Smith], thought he had a terrific game. And then the two linebackers were just outstanding. Along with, we're talking about [LB NaVorro] Bowman and [LB Patrick] Willis, and [LB Ahmad] Brooks. And then secondary made some plays. Big pass breakups and just point to that. It was a real football fight and our guys won it.
Q: What was the thought process at the end of declining the safety?
Harbaugh: Because we could just kneel on the ball and have the game be over. Otherwise, they'll onside kick it. And you give them a chance to win the game.
Q: When did you know T Joe Staley was going to play? And what did you think of his performance considering a short week and a concussion?
Harbaugh: Oh, Joe Staley? I thought it was excellent. You could point to all those linemen up front, including [G] Leonard Davis and the five starters. I thought they physically played great.
Q: You touched on it briefly about the special teams and the punt coverage in particular. How did they play?
Harbaugh: Dynamite [laughs]. Coverage was great. Against a tremendous returner and Seattle had been very good on special teams. And it was lights out on the coverage teams. And then [WR] Ted Ginn [Jr.] again, had a great game tonight. We just played really well on special teams. That was great to see. And played very physical. Played very good. Got off of blocks, got tackles, made plays. And the kickers kicked extremely well. [K] David [Akers] had a great night, and so did [P] Andy [Lee]. Some big punts out of him.
Q: Why put Ginn back on kick returns when WR Kyle Williams had been doing that? Was it just the Seahawks because of that game he had against them last year?
Harbaugh: Yeah, for this game that's what we decided to do. And he did a great job.
Q: QB Alex Smith's interception, do you know like do you think bad read, or what happened?
Harbaugh: Well, I saw what he saw exactly, because I was kind of right behind him. And saw I [WR] Randy [Moss] open in the backend of the end zone. And would have made the same decision as he made to throw it. The only thing would have been to throw it high. Get it up high where you take the interception out of the equation. But, thought Alex had a very good game, made really good decisions. He was fantastic for us all night. Really had a perfect game in the running game. And did a great job getting us into the right play. Played with a lot of poise. Made some conversions for us. And thought he played extremely well. But, this game again, I think it really goes back to the way our team played physically. It was a physical first half, and it was the most physical I've ever seen our team play in the second half. And I think that's where the game was won. It was sweet.
Q: Why did the holes open up for the run game in the third quarter?
Harbaugh: Guys up front, they're doing a good job. We ran a few traps and had them in the right look. And timing was great on it. [G Mike] Iupati had some big blocks. [G] Jonathan Goodwin had a heck of a night. Came off of a sick bed to do it. Just what makes him great, along with talent, just a deep desire to play and be there for his teammates. And like he said, it would have been worse to not play and have to watch it. And he really came through for us big time tonight.
Q: Going back to the end of the first half, it was very a very rough game for the offense. What did you tell your team coming in and you made adjustments in the second half?
Harbaugh: That was a great game, a sweet game. What did you say, it was a rough game?
Q: Well rough for the offense. What did you tell your offense when you made adjustments coming into the third quarter, execution, because everything was executed right?
Harbaugh: Just made some adjustments at halftime. And just felt like we had to come out and have a great second half. And opened up with the first drive. I think we had six or seven first downs on that drive. That was big. Got into some play action. Did a tremendous job running the ball.
Q: There was a lot of talking by both sides early. A couple flags early, unsportsmanlike conduct, unnecessary roughness. Did the coaches have to say anything to the players to remind them to keep their poise? Or did they just kind of get into the flow of the game?
Harbaugh: Yeah, I think they were just in the flow of the game. It was a rough, tough football game.
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