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Jaquiski Tartt gets brutally honest on one major what-if from 49ers’ NFC title game loss vs. Rams

Rams, 49ers

There were multiple what-if moments in the 2022 NFC Championship Game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. Among them, now-former 49ers safety Jaquiski Tartt had a golden opportunity in the second half to provide San Francisco with a game-changing play.

With the 49ers leading the Rams by a 17-14 score in the fourth quarter, Tartt had his hands on a pass from Matthew Stafford, but he failed to haul in the ball to complete an interception.

The Rams would go on to finish off a double-digit comeback win over their NFC West rival to clinch a spot in Super Bowl 56.

Looking back on the play, Tartt takes “accountability” for not coming away with what could have been the game-sealing takeaway in the contest.

“We’re preparing all week for that (NFL Championship) game against the Rams and we felt we would have a chance to get a pick,” Tart told PhiladelphiaEagles.com’s Dave Spadaro. “I didn’t drop one all week in practice. Then we’re in the game and (Rams quarterback Matthew) Stafford throws one to me and I’m thinking, ‘This is my moment,’ and the moment of truth came and I dropped it. Was a tough deal for us.

“For me, I felt that play was a momentum play and I think that’s what I bring – a big hit, what have you. At that moment, it didn’t happen. I took accountability and then I had my 24-hour rule and I moved on.”

Tart became a free agent in March for the second consecutive year. The 49ers opted against re-signing him, and he decided to take his talents to the Philadelphia Eagles on a one-year deal. For the moment, he is set to be provided with a chance to be a starting safety for the Eagles come Week 1 of the 2022 campaign.

The 49ers are set to call upon the likes of Jimmie Ward and Charvarius Ward to lead their pass defense in the coming season. Overall, San Francisco is aiming to pull off a deep playoff run in the opening year of the Trey Lance era. For now, the second-year passer could see some playing time in the team’s preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers.