Harbaugh: 'It was a great playoff preview'

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh gives his takes on the game after his team rallied in the fourth quarter for a 19-17 comeback victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday to remain in control of the NFC's No. 2 playoff seed with one game remaining.


On whether this was the type of game he expected: It was just a great job by our guys. I think it was a playoff type of atmosphere, a playoff type of a game. It was a great preview for our team of what the playoffs are going to be like. We overcame a lot of things. We overcame adversity, overcame the opposing crowd. It is a tremendous atmosphere for football, they're really into it here. It really makes you feel like a man, when you can do that. Our guys feel good about what they accomplished. I thought they let it all hang out today. They came up with some big fourth down conversions in the game. Our players were the ones that executed it. It's just really good football for our young football team.

On the physical nature of this game: It seemed physical from where I was standing, which is over on the sideline blocking and tackling nobody. You can ask our guys about that. I thought it was a physical game, from what I saw.

On going for it on fourth down on the first series of the second half, what did you say to the team on the sideline: It was a little bit of gamesmanship, I was trying to direct it to the offensive line, saying that we were going to run the ball to them, so let's come off the ball, in case anybody was looking. We had play action pass called. I was trying to be animated toward the offensive line that we were going to run the ball in this situation, so come off the ball, and give it that illusion, but we had a play-action pass called.

On the formation of a rivalry with the Seahawks: It was good football on both sides, no question about it. Good, physical run game by both teams. Both teams didn't give the other a thing, up until the blocked punt and the fumble. A good spirited game.

On forcing the fumble on Tarvaris Jackson in the final minutes: It was a great hustle play, to come from behind and getting the strip. We've had a bunch of those. Aldon had one against Arizona, Justin's had quite a few of those. Our guys don't quit. They play extremely hard and they play well.

On whether he has any update on the injuries: No, not at this time. We'll see after they get evaluated and looked at by the doctors.

On Michael Crabtree's 41-yard catch late in the game: That was an incredible catch. He double-moved, won the double-move, then both went up and competed for the ball and both gave it their best effort, and Michael comes down with it. That was a tremendous play by Michael. We don't win this game without Michael Crabtree making those plays.

On Alex Smith's play: He made a couple of great throws down the sideline. One in the first quarter as well that we didn't come up with and we were out of bounds on the other. Alex was pretty sensational today. He played a heck of a game. The offensive line was really good as well.

On whether he was more inclined to play for field goals due to the nature of the game: No, we're always playing for touchdowns.

On David Akers setting an NFL record today: We're aware of that, and all of our players, coaches, and everybody is really happy for David's success. Another great effort by him today.

On whether Kyle Williams suffered a head injury: We'll see. It sure looked like it.

On the play of Marshawn Lynch: That's the way Marshawn plays all the time. I couldn't say if there's any difference from Game One to this game, or throughout his whole career. He's just a great back.

On Aldon Smith's development: I had higher hopes for him coming in, and he's produced. He's transitioned from defensive end to outside linebacker, and he gets a lot of plays in the nickel where he's a defensive end. But, he's been great, he's been sensational. He's progressing really well.

On the play of Alex Smith, take two: There were some real great, creative plays, improvisation. On the fourth and three, getting Vernon down the sideline there, a terrific throw. He used his feet a couple of times, to scramble. He was consistently accurate. It's tough enough playing quarterback in this type of environment: loud. He didn't make it look that way. I thought he was sensational, in all aspects. Some real pinpoint throws.

On whether he has improved his improvisation: I think he's doing really well in that area. I think he's improved in that aspect. He's just a competitive guy, and really using his athletic instincts.

On handling the crowd noise: They did great. I thought it was a real good preview for what the playoffs are going to be like. Overcoming that, overcoming adversity. Nobody flinched, in some real difficult situations, in some real pressure-to-perform situations, our guys performed. And you trust them doing that. You trust going for it on fourth down. It was a limited possession game, especially early, especially through the first three quarters, and we really felt like we had to take advantage of every possession. Our guys really rose to the occasion, which is good. It feels good to sweep a division opponent, it feels good to come up here and win in a hostile environment, it feels good as a preview for what the playoffs are going to be like. It's what both teams need. It was a playoff-type of game for the Seahawks as well.


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