Williams, who returned kicks in place of the injured Ted Ginn Jr., muffed one punt early in the fourth quarter to set up Eli Manning's go-ahead, 17-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham. Williams was stripped by Jacquian Williams in overtime to give the Giants the ball at the 49ers' 24. Devin Thomas recovered both fumbles for New York.
"You hate to be the last guy that had the ball, to give it away in that fashion and to lose a game of this magnitude," Williams said. "It is what it is. We're going to move forward as a team. Everyone has come to pat me on the back and the shoulder to say it's not me."
The fact that turnovers did in San Francisco truly was surprising. The 49ers tied an NFL record with just 10 giveaways all season -- including none on special teams -- and had a plus-28 turnover margin during the regular season. They took advantage of five New Orleans Saints turnovers to win 36-32 last week but were on the wrong end in this game because of Williams, who didn't look smooth fielding punts after doing it just twice during the regular season.
"I told him we're all in this together," 49ers All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis said. "I believe in him. If I had a do-over, he'd still be my guy back there. He's a tremendous athlete."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press