The hardest defeats are the ones where you play well enough to win, but come away with a loss anyway.
Alex Boone expressed just that to the media on Monday about the San Francisco 49ers last-second, 30-27 loss to the New York Giants in Week 6.
"It's one of those games where you feel like you got kicked in the gut," Boone said.
That's because there was a laundry list of positives to take away from the game, which makes the 49ers fourth-consecutive loss that much harder to swallow.
Here are just a few:
- The 49ers offense scored 27 points, a season high.
- Garrett Celek scored his first touchdown of his career.
- Anquan Boldin reached the 100-yard receiving plateau for the first time this season and caught his second touchdown of the year.
- Colin Kaepernick was turnover free while throwing for 262 yards and two scores.
- The offense converted 8-of-14 third-down attempts, easily a season high.
- Tramaine Brock grabbed his team-leading second interception of the year to keep it a one-score game going into halftime.
- Pierre Garçon ran for 93 yards (4.4 yards per carry) and a touchdown against the league's best run defense.
Ok so maybe that was more than a few, but the point has been made.
"Everyone was just firing on all cylinders," Boone said. "For the most part, I thought we had a great game. We were running the ball well. Kap was throwing the ball well. Receivers were making plays. The o-line played good.
"I think we took a step in the right direction, maybe even two, and then you remember you lost. It's so hard to do that, you want to celebrate and you want to be happy, but at the end of the day, there's not a lot to be happy about."
Boone echoed Jim Tomsula's sentiment that the 49ers locker room has shown tremendous resolve despite the rough patch of games. When asked who was most responsible for keeping the team's spirits high, the left guard said it has been a collective effort.
"It's on everybody," Boone said. "It's on everybody to shut out all the extra noise. People are going to say what they're going to say. We have to believe in ourselves and know what we're worth. We haven't lost this locker room at all. Before games, everyone is still fired up, excited and ready to play. They're giving everything they've got."
Just because the game ended in heartbreaking fashion, Boone said, doesn't mean that the positive steps fall by the wayside. The 49ers are not going back to the drawing board, but rather the plan is to build off of the successes they saw on "Sunday Night Football."
In Week 6, the 49ers will have another great opportunity to end the losing streak at home against the Baltimore Ravens, who will also enter the game with a 1-4 record.
"You look at the film and say, 'Ok, we did this well, we did this well and maybe we didn't do this well so we need to continue to grow on this,'" Boone said. "I'm excited about this team. We played well in front of the whole world."