When the San Francisco 49ers look back on their loss in the NFC championship game, the play that arguably will stand out most is one that wasn’t made.
And 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt, who dropped an uncontested interception try that eventually proved to be a three-point swing, knows it.
“No excuses!!” Tartt wrote after the game in a message posted to his verified Twitter account. “I deserve all the criticism my way! Opportunity I dream of I came up short!!! Let my brothers down!! It Still won’t define me as a person/player. Only will get stronger and better… #Believdat”
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The 49ers lost to the Rams, 20-17, after Los Angeles battled back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The play in question came with 9:47 left to play in the game, with the Niners holding a three-point lead. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford heaved a deep pass that was dropping right into Tartt’s hands, but he appeared to look away at the last moment and the ball slipped from his grip. Tartt was backtracking on the play, but there was no Rams player in his vicinity.
A turnover would’ve allowed San Francisco the chance to burn more clock and potentially widen their lead. But Los Angeles would eventually march to field goal range to tie the game. That helped set up the eventual Matt Gay 30-yard game-winning field goal with 1:46 to play in the game.
The Rams advanced to Super Bowl 56, which will be played in their home venue, SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jaquiski Tartt takes blame for dropped interception in 49ers loss