As if Chris Culliver needed another controversy to add to his misery.
After making the news around the world with his anti-gay comments during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, Culliver was absolutely terrible in the game itself.
Perhaps the biggest play he allowed was a 56-yard touchdown pass to the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones, who blew right by him down the field. After making the catch and falling down, Jones got up, evaded two defenders and danced into the end zone to put Baltimore up 21-3.
Culliver, however, doesn’t think he was responsible for the score. He places the blame on teammate Donte Whitner, the safety who he expected to help out on coverage by remaining deep:
“Like I said, I don’t want to throw nobody under the bus,” said Culliver. “But I had him and we wasn’t on the same page, so it ends up as a touchdown.”
As an aside: whenever somebody starts a sentence with “I don’t want to throw nobody under the bus,” they’re usually going to throw someone under the bus.
Whitner disagreed, saying it was Culliver’s job all the way:
No. No. People don’t know. It’s something we call ‘pounder’ where we’re playing man-under (coverage) in a form of quarters where I’m on No. 2 (receiver). Anything that No. 2 does, I’m over him. Then we’re playing man-to-man outside. Our corners did a great job all year of playing this coverage. And it just caught him (Culliver). It just caught him. I don’t know.
Chris is man to man, that was his guy. And the guy just got behind him. The guy is extremely talented guy. The guy who caught the football … he’s extremely fast. I don’t know. He’ll (Culliver) be better next year. He’ll be better covering on the outside next year, and hopefully we don’t give up those type of plays. But it’s the Super Bowl.
Coverage goes with rush. And on that play, I don’t know if we had the best rush. We definitely didn’t have the best coverage. So (Ravens quarterback Joe) Flacco was able to step up, throw it deep and that’s exactly what we didn’t want all week long.
The 49ers wound up losing in the Super Bowl by the score of 34-31 after their comeback bid fell short. So if that 56-yard touchdown didn’t happen, who would be celebrating right now?