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6 Postgame Notes from Jim Harbaugh in New York

Posted Nov 16, 2014

Here are six topics the San Francisco 49ers coach hit on while discussing his team's victory over the Giants.

Elsewhere on 49ers.com, we have you covered on the major storylines from the San Francisco 49ers 16-10, Week 11 victory over the New York Giants. Here are six notes from Jim Harbaugh's press conference that are also worth headlines.

1. The defense delivered another remarkable performance.

Whenever the 49ers needed to make a play on defense, someone stepped up to the plate.

Vic Fangio’s unit tallied five interceptions, two sacks and allowed just 65 rushing yards. The defense also successfully defended all three of the Giants fourth-down plays, including one near the goal line with the game hanging in the balance late in the fourth quarter.

“That was a spectacular performance by our defense,” Harbaugh said. “So many guys played great. They were living in the moment and competing like the dickens. They made tremendous football plays.”

Don’t forget, the unit was playing without the services of Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Dan Skuta, Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Ian Williams and Glenn Dorsey.

2. Brooks did not see the field after halftime.

After starting the game opposite rookie Aaron Lynch, linebacker Ahmad Brooks didn't play in the second half on Sunday. Lynch, Aldon Smith and Corey Lemonier took all of the outside 'backer snaps.

“We have something we’re working through,” Harbaugh said.

Although no additional information was provided, the coach wrapped up his comments with supportive words for the veteran.

“We need Ahmad Brooks to win a championship,” Harbaugh said. “I feel that wholeheartedly and have felt that way.”

Brooks was the hero in the 49ers Week 10 victory over the New Orleans Saints when he forced a Drew Brees fumble in overtime that set up the game-winning field goal. 

3. Bowman's status is still unclear.

Smith provided a sizable lift to the 49ers in his first game back from suspension on Sunday. Whether or not the team will get another All-Pro reinforcement in the coming weeks, however, is yet to be determined.

Bowman, who underwent an MRI on his surgically-repaired knee last week, must have his 21-day practice window opened by Tuesday or else he will not be eligible to play this season. 

"We'll see on Tuesday," Harbaugh said.

4. Crabtree put on the jets for highlight score.

The 49ers lone touchdown of the afternoon came via a Colin Kaepernick-Michael Crabtree connection.

Ahead by two points in the third quarter, the signal-caller hit Crabtree over the middle on a slant route and let the wideout do the rest. Crabtree proceeded to avoid several defenders en route to a 48-yard score.

“That was an outstanding throw and a great route,” Harbaugh said. “Then Michael really hit the yards after reception. He was playing football, it looked like he was having fun and he was going to get to the goal line. He had a seam and drove it through the defense. Heck of a throw and catch.

Crabtree finished his day with three catches for a season-high 85 yards.

5. Red-zone proficiency still needs to improve.

Although the offense controlled the pace of the game, the 49ers struggled to capitalize on several opportunities to put the ball in the end zone.

Phil Dawson made three field goals and lined up for a fourth before a low snap derailed the attempt.

“Glad we made them, the field goals were important,” Harbaugh said. “They were the result of some very good drives. You’d like to get the touchdown, but you do come away with points on the board and those are critical.

"You do what you have to do to win the game."

6. Washington is already on Harbaugh's mind.

The 49ers will savor this hard-fought win on the trip back to the Bay Area. But once the team lands in California, the celebration ends.

“It’ll be a happy flight home and then we’ll get onto the Redskins,” Harbaugh said. “Our team is playing with a lot of heart and a lot of fight.”

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