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San Francisco 49ers not sold on Super Bowl play calls

NEW ORLEANS -- A brilliant season for San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman ended with a sequence that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

The 49ers' decision to throw the ball during their final three offensive plays in a 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII was surprising considering how well the 49ers were running the ball.

Tackle Joe Staley was asked by Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's Matt Maiocco on Sunday if he wished another run play had been called instead of three passes at the end. "Yeah," was his simple answer.

Other 49ers players echoed the sentiment after perhaps the craziest Super Bowl in memory.

"As a player, all I could think of was maybe running a different play, but that's just a player mentality," tight end Vernon Davis said, via The Associated Press. "Greg Roman, he called the shots. We gotta go with it and respect his calls. He believed in it, we believed in it, but it just didn't work."

"I'm a little surprised," safety Donte Whitner told Maiocco. "But it's coach's call. Like anything, if it works, you're a genius. If it doesn't, you messed up."

Give the Ravens' defense credit. They blitzed on nearly all the biggest plays at the end, and it worked.

"It was cover zero (all-out blitz), and I was just trying to give him (wide receiver Michael Crabtree) a chance," 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh simply said that the team "had other plays called." Kaepernick puts so much stress on opposing defenses that it seemed odd not to give him a run-pass option with the field condensed inside the 5-yard line.

But San Francisco also threw the ball well all game. In the end, some credit has to go to the Ravens' defense for making plays when it mattered most.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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