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Plays of the Year: The Pick at The ‘Stick

Posted Feb 7, 2014

At number 1 on the top plays of 2013 list, NaVorro Bowman seals the legacy of Candlestick Park with a historic pick six.

Over the past week, 49ers.com has revealed the top 10 plays of the team's 2013 season. Each of the plays were voted on and ranked by 49ers Studios staff We finish the countdown at No. 1...

When

The San Francisco 49ers final home game on “Monday Night Football.”

Where

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.

What

NaVorro Bowman got his hands on a deflected Matt Ryan pass and returned the interception 89 yards to score the final touchdown in the 43-year history of the 49ers home stadium.

Who

Bowman, the first-team All-Pro, Pro Bowl linebacker carved his way into Candlestick lore by scoring his first career touchdown at the most opportune time.

Why

Bowman used his instincts and world-class athleticism to record one of his four, career-high interceptions in the 2013 regular season. Bowman was supposed to blitz up the middle and pressure Ryan, but the play-making linebacker wisely dropped back into coverage when he felt like Ryan was going to throw the ball hot. Bowman read Ryan’s decision perfectly found his way to the football.

How

Tramaine Brock must not be forgotten in this equation. The fourth-year cornerback continued his aggressive brand of football by breaking on Ryan’s pass intended for Harry Douglas and forcing the ball out of the receiver’s hands. Soon after, Bowman made his way to the floating football and used his elite speed to race down the right sideline for arguably the most memorable defensive play in Candlestick’s history. Bowman finished the play by diving into the end zone for some serious style points. The moment also quickly erased a potential disaster involving the star linebacker. The 49ers trailed 10-3 at the half, but overcame first-half struggles to take a 27-17 lead with 5:04 left in the game. After the Falcons made it a 3-point game with a 2-yard touchdown pass to future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta successfully recovered an onside kick. That play happened because Bowman, a member of San Francisco’s hands team, failed to corral Matt Bryant’s wobbly short kick. Bowman could have been the goat for the final game of Candlestick. But that didn’t happen. The interception heard all around the NFL will last forever in the minds of the 49ers Faithful. Bowman provided a signature moment and for his efforts, the play will forever have a cool moniker, “The Pick at The ‘Stick.”

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