January 6th 2003
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Steve Mariucci clearly had his hands full guiding his team to their first playoff victory in four years. Somehow though, he rallied the troops to a 25 point come from behind victory. The offense once it fell down by 24 points began to produce. The right plays were called and the players executed. This was a tribute to Mariucci and Knapp who struggled in their play selection for a big portion of the game.
Jim Mora spent about three quarters before he managed to get his defense to stop the Giants. It was just enough to give the team victory. The special teams were not good, but they never really are. They didnít make the crucial mistake and that was important.
The team appeared well prepared squaring off to a 14-14 game before two costly turnovers. There were very few penalties too, showing that the team was well composed and ready for the game. When the team fell down by 14, and then 28, the game plan went out the window.
Improvising the coaches and players were at their bests, somehow coming back for a victory. It wasnít a great coaching performance, but it wasnít the worst Iíve seen either. The staff will have their work cut out for them as they try and knock out the Bucs this coming Sunday.