Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas was involved in the game’s deciding play in Monday’s loss to the 49ers.
He got tangled up with San Francisco defensive back Tramaine Brock. The ball popped up in the air and was intercepted by linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who returned it 89 yards to secure the 34-24 49ers victory.
Douglas, who went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career during the game, was not sure about the play.
“I don’t know,” said Douglas when asked if he was interfered with. “I’m out there playing football. If he did, he did. If he didn’t, he didn’t. I thought he kind of got there at the same time (as the ball.)”
Douglas had five catches for 46 yards to give him 78 catches for 1,009 yards and two touchdowns on the season.
Douglas was tackled on the play and couldn’t give chase. Drew Davis, who had a spectacular 59-yard reception earlier in the game, tried to catch Bowman, who had a four-player escort in to the end zone.
“I heard the crowd, that’s how I pretty much knew right there,” Douglas said.
Douglas was not happy about the loss to the 49ers, who beat the Falcons 28-24 last season in the NFC Championship game.
“One thing that I can say about this team, we go hard and we fight no matter what,” Douglas said. “That’s one thing that I love about being in the locker room with these guys. From play one to the last play, we go hard.”
The Falcons downplayed the revenge angle all week before the game, but Douglas and even quarterback Matt Ryan acknowledged that the Falcons really don’t care much for the 49ers or their obnoxious and bratty coach Jim Harbaugh.
“We didn’t get the outcome that we wanted and it hurts to lose,” Douglas said. “But with the 49ers, it’s personal. It was personal tonight. It was just one of those games. You never want to lose a game, I don’t ever want to lose to the 49ers.
“People talk about us and the Saints, but the 49ers are right underneath the Saints in my eyes.”
Ryan completed 37 of 48 passes for 348 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“I think there was a little bit extra because of the way the season ended for us going against them,” Ryan said. “I think it was an emotional game on both sides tonight. I thought they played with a lot of passion as well.
“I think there was probably a little more to it with it being a Monday Night Game and with it being the last game here at Candlestick, I thought there was great energy out there tonight.”
Line watch: Left tackle Lamar Holmes had two false starts and backup Jeremy Trueblood had one on an extra point attempt.
But the line only gave up one sack and five quarterback hits against a stout San Francisco front. On one of the hits, 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith leveled Ryan and the two had words before the referee got in between them.
“I’m really proud of the (offensive) line and the way that the line played,” center Joe Hawley said. “That’s a great front seven. (It’s) probably one of the best that we played all year.”
The line was not happy about the talk preceding the game that the Falcon should sit Ryan, since he’s taken on so many hits this season. He’s been sacked 32 times and hit on 86 other plays with one game to play.
“A lot of people were questioning if we could handle them or not,” Hawley said. “I thought we did a great job of stepping up to the plate. A lot of the young guys played really well. Our tackles played as best they could. We all fought until the end.”
Snelling on the spot: Falcons running back Jason Snelling cradled the onside kick with his left hand along the left sideline. The Falcons were in business at the 49ers' 30 after the 20-yard onside hopper by Matt Bosher.
“It was just a great kick,” Snelling said. “The ball came straight to me. We work on that play a lot.”
One game left: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez leads the team with 79 catches heading into the last game of his illustrious 17-year career.
He caught eight passes for 63 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers. Roddy White led the way with 12 catches for 141 yards and a 39-yard touchdown catch.
“Yeah, it was the same old story,” Gonzalez said. ‘It seems like the whole year, we’re fighting, clawing and scratching, trying to put ourselves in position to go out there and get it done. We just couldn’t come up with a play.”
Gonzalez, who played collegiately at nearby California-Berkeley, had about 20 family members on hand for the game. The Southern California native wanted to win his final game in his home-state.
“It’s unfortunate,” Gonzalez said. “It was a hell of a comeback. We had ‘em right where we wanted them.”
After Snelling’s recovery, the Falcons thought they’d pull out another late victory.
“The feeling inside that huddle was all positive,” Gonzalez said. “There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to get the job done. It hurts real bad.”
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