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49ers LT Joe Staley says beating the Giants was as good as winning the NFC Championship

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It’s been a long couple of seasons in San Francisco.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ersfirst win of the season was a high point for the entire team, but especially left tackle Joe Staley. In fact, Staley said that his team’s 31-21 victory over the Giants felt as good as the biggest win he’s ever been a part of — the NFC Championship.

You read that correctly. Staley said it felt so good to finally get a win this year that it was on par with winning a game that sent the 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season.

“I’ve been part of a lot of wins with this franchise over the 11 years I’ve been here,” Staley said, via Daniel Brown of The Mercury News. “This win felt just as good as winning the NFC Championship.”

How is that even possible? Staley explained.

“Not everybody sees what we see in the locker room,” Staley said. “They don’t understand how close we are. No one has ever wavered. No one has ever pointed fingers. We’ve all just buckled down. That’s a tribute to Kyle (Shanahan) and the leadership group that he brought in.”

Staley wasn’t the only Niners player who was thrilled with the win. One of his teammates even gave Shanahan a Gatorade bath after the game — albeit a tiny one.

Shanahan has been tasked with turning around a team that won just two games last season. San Francisco hadn’t won a single game on a Sunday since Jan. 3, 2016. It was the 49ers’ first win against a team that wasn’t the terrible pre-2017 Rams since Dec. 6, 2015. No wonder Staley is excited.

The 49ers have won 78 games over Staley’s 11-year career, and the Niners averaged 11 wins per season from 2011 through 2014. But they’ve won just eight games since.

Their record of 1-9 isn’t pretty, but five of those nine losses were by three or fewer points. Now they finally have a win, and Joe Staley couldn’t be happier.