I know this may sound like an excuse and perhaps it is....however, I wanted to point out that after Iupati got hurt, the OL had a really hard time giving Alex time to throw....and the injuries to the receiving corps left him with very little to throw to. We all know about how critical Ginn's absence ended up being but I would also add that after T Brown went out, Eli went right after Brock and burned him with a TD pass on a 3rd and 15.
I guess what I'm really saying is that the stars were not aligned for the Niners today. In any game of this magnitude, it always seems that the winning team gets a key break at a critical time.... It doesn't necessarily make that team better, just more fortunate at that particular crucial moment. If the Niners get the call on the forced fumble near the end of the game, for example, they win. Fate was with NY today...not with the Niners.
To sum up, unless a team is extremely dominant (very rare in any sport), generally it takes some good fortune sometime in the playoffs in order to win it all. Last week, the Niners got some of that good fortune and today they didn't.
[ Edited by nw9erfan on Jan 23, 2012 at 1:50 AM ]