SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith threw 26 passes in the NFC Championship.Nine of them went to wideouts. One was completed. To Michael Crabtree. For three yards."You don't get that many opportunities, it's hard to talk, you know?" Crabtree ruminated in the 49ers locker room after their heartbreaking 20-17 overtime loss to the New York Giants on Sunday at Candlestick Park."(New York's) defense played great, man. Great defense, bro. Like, you can't say nothing about that. It's great. Great, man, just like, sometimes you just got to move the ball, man, you got to make plays. You've got to give people a chance to make plays."Crabtree was targeted five times by Smith, who also threw four balls Kyle Williams' way.
The lack of an outside threat obviously limited the 49ers' chances, despite tight end Vernon Davis catching three passes for 112 yards, including touchdowns from 73 and 28 yards, and running back Frank Gore catching a team-high six passes for 45 yards."They were good," Smith said of the Giants' defense. "They mixed it up a lot today, coverage-wise, mixed it up a lot. There wasn't one thing that jumps out at me. I got up, they pressed us. They played coverage. They played Cover-2. Mixed it up all throughout the game."We just weren't able to get into a rhythm, get any guys going outside, so it limited us."While the rain itself may not have been a factor, the fear of a wet ball slipping on throws outside might have weighed heavily on Smith's mind, right?"The wind was a little more of a factor," said Smith, who completed 12 of 26 passes for 196 yards with the two TDs and a 97.6 passer rating.And this from Crabtree: "Nah, it wasn't no weather. The other side of the ball was catching the ball. They could throw."Indeed, Eli Manning threw 58 passes, completing 32, for 316 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. And Victor Cruz was targeted 17 times, catching 10 passes for 142 yards and giving 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers the business all night.Be sure, though, Crabtree was not indignant. He seemed matter-of-fact about the whole thing, saying he was often double-teamed by the Giants."I mean, half the time you're not going to be open," he said. "That's why they call you a playmakerwhether or not they're rolling the safety, we've got to hit it."His lone reception came with less then six minutes left in regulation, getting the 49ers to the Giants' 7-yard line before David Akers' 25-yard field goal tied the game at 17-17 with 5:43 to play.So was Crabtree open more often than not?"I'm a receiver, man, I'm always going to feel like I'm open, even if there's somebody on me," he said. "Like I said, just give me a chance."