He said it: Mike Nolan after upset of Cards

Coach Mike Nolan gives his takes on the game after the 49ers' resilient and thrilling 37-31 overtime victory over the Arizona Cardinals halts San Francisco's losing streak at eight games and gives the Niners their highest scoring output in a game since 2003.

Q: That's as thrilling a game as the 49ers have played in some time. How nice is it to work that hard and have something to show for it at the end?
Nolan:
You're exactly right. You know, we've won three games this season, and all three have been team victories. But this one, obviously, (had) much more excitement because of the points, naturally. And that was a great time for our offense. I thought the offense did an outstanding job today. Not only on their own accord, but when the defense got turnovers in the first half, and on special teams we had some real good returns, they capitalized on the field position. That is the key to winning games, and we haven't done that this season very often. So it was an outstanding team win. It was an exciting game and an exciting win.

Q: Patrick Willis had a game-high 18 tackles today and was tremendous, but what about him chasing down a receiver after a 62-yard gain in overtime to keep the game from ending right there?
Nolan:
I didn't see it. I was pinned down where the pick occurred on the pass, so I didn't even see that. But it does not surprise me. I'm anxious to see it on the film. As we all know, on every play he is fast. He can run like the wind. I look forward to seeing it again on film.

Q: It seemed like you were more aggressive on offense and did a lot of things you haven't been doing. It seemed like several times you had the Cardinals confused out there about what you we're going to do. What's the reason for the big breakout today?
Nolan:
You know, when you win, you can say anything you want about your opponent. But I'm going to be reluctant to do that, because we've lost a few and people have said some things that I wish they'd just shut their trap. So, I will say it was an excited game and I thought both teams played extremely hard. There was good plays on both sides, but I'm just thankful that we came out on the winning side today.

Q: What happened with the Hail Mary at the end of the first half, after you missed a long field goal with only seconds remaining?
Nolan:
We missed the field goal, but the thing that was disappointing was, if you do the math, to get three plays off in 11 seconds when you have to go about 30 yards or whatever they had to go, that's pretty amazing. You are either the fastest players in the world, or somebody's got their finger on the trigger there, on the clock. So, it's unfortunate that's what happened. I'll say this: It's a real credit to our team that we came in at halftime and the guys were saying, 'Look, it's just one play. That's all that was, was one play. If we continue to play the kind of game we've been, and we're going to be in great shape and win this damn thing.' And I'll be damned if that's not what the guys did.

Q: Did you feel like Arizona's passing game was starting to take advantage after you suffered some injuries in your secondary late in the game?
Nolan:
Without question. I was hoping that they'd never notice. It took about two series, and then they finally jumped in to the four-wide receiver set and they saw what we had had to do. That's why we went into the two-minute. They immediately went to four wides, even on first down. They didn't even wait until third down to do it. They just decided to put us at a disadvantage. And that's how they got the ball all the way down the field, on that long run we were talking about where Patrick ran him down. On that particular play, they went four wides - it was a second-and-long I believe - and we called man pressure, and they picked us on the outside, and they had the right call. I mean, they knew what they were doing. They rubbed the guys and the next thing you know, he's running all the way down the field. To their credit, that's what you do. If I had noticed it, I'd have been doing the same thing. The thing that's a real credit to our defensive staff, though, they did come up with and plan some things we could do even though we were down two corners. And it paid of for us. We won the game.



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