The name was selected as a recognition of the pioneering and adventurous spirit of the men of the 1849 gold rush in the Sierra Nevada mountains east of San Francisco.
Jim Harbarugh 2011-
Levis Stadium 2014-
First NFL Game Played September 17, 1950
Played in AAFC 1946-1949
4949 Centennial Blvd.
Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone: (408) 562-4949
Buck Shaw 1946-1954
Red Strader 1955
Frank Albert 1956-1958
Red Hickey 1959-1963
Jack Chrisitiansen 1963-1967
Dick Nolan 1968-1975
Monte Clark 1976
Ken Meyer 1977
Pete McCulley 1978
Fred O'Conner 1978
Bill Walsh 1979-1988
George Seifert 1989-1996
Steve Mariucci 1997-2003
Dennis Erickson 2003-2004
Mike Nolan 2005-2008
Mike Singletarry 2008-2010
Jim Tomsula 2010
Jim Harbaugh 2011-Present
Kezar Stadium 1946-1970
Candlestick Park* 1971-2013
Levis Statdium 2014-Present
*-Known as 3Com Park 1995-2003, Monster Park 2004-2007
Super Bowl Champions: (5)
XVI (1981), XIX (1984), XXIII (1988), XXIV (1989), XXIX (1994)
NFL Champions (pre 1966):
Super Bowls Appearances: (6)
XVI (1981), XIX (1984), XXIII (1988), XXIV (1989), XXIX (1994),
NFL Champ Games (Pre-1966):
NFL/NFC Championship Games: (15)
1970, 1971, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2011, 2012, 2013
Division Champions: (19)
1970, 1971, 1972, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2011, 2012
Playoff Appearences: (25)
1957, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2011, 2012, 2013
Record in Playoff Games:
Hall of Famers: (23)
Larry Allen OT 2006-2007
Fred Dean DE 1981-1985
Richard Dent DE 1994
Chris Doleman DE 1996-1998
Bob Hayes WR 1975
Rickey Jackson DE 1994-1995
John Henry Johnson FB 1954-1956
Jimmy Johnson CB 1961-1976
Ronnie Lott S 1981-1990
Hugh McElhenny RB 1952-1960
Joe Montana QB 1979-1992
Leo Nomellini OT 1950-1963
Joe Perry RB 1948-1960, 1963
Jerry Rice WR 1985-2000
Deion Sanders CB 1994
Bob St. Clair OT 1953-1963
O.J. Simpson RB 1978-1979
Y.A. Tittle QB 1951-1960
Bill Walsh Coach 1979-1988
Dave Wilcox LB 1964-1974
Rod Woodson CB 1997
Steve Young QB 1987-1999
Retired Numbers: (12)
8 Steve Young QB 1987-1999
12 John Brodie QB 1957-1973
16 Joe Montana QB 1979-1992
34 Joe Perry RB 1948-1960, 1963
37 Jimmy Johnson DB 1961-1976
39 Hugh McElhenny RB 1952-1960
42 Ronnie Lott S 1981-1990
70 Charlie Kruger DT 1959-1973
73 Leo Nomellini OT 1950-1963
79 Bob St. Clair OT 1953-1963
80 Jerry Rice WR 1985-2000
87 Dwight Clark WR 1979-1987
Pro Bowl MVP: (3)
1955 Billy Wilson WR
1958 Hugh McElhenny RB
1996 Jerry Rice WR
Coach of the Year: (4)
1981 Bill Walsh
1990 George Seifert
1994 George Seifert
2011 Jim Harbaugh
Defensive Rookie of the Year: (3)
1970 Bruce Taylor CB
1993 Dana Stubblefield DT
2007 Patrick Willis LB
Offensive Rookie of the Year:
Defensive Player of the Year: (2)
1994 Deion Sanders CB
1997 Dana Stubblefield DT
Offensive Player of the Year: (5)
1987 Jerry Rice WR
1988 Roger Craig RB
1989 Joe Montana QB
1992 Steve Young QB
1993 Jerry Rice WR
NFL MVP: (5)
1954 Joe Perry RB
1970 John Brodie QB
1989 Joe Montana QB
1990 Joe Montana QB
1992 Steve Young QB
1994 Steve Young QB
Super Bowl MVP: (5)
XVI Joe Montana QB (1981)
XIX Joe Montana QB (1984)
XXIII Jerry Rice WR (1988)
XXIV Joe Montana QB (1989)
XXIX Steve Young QB (1994)
1978, 1979, 2004 (2-14)
On the Air:
KNBR (680 AM & 1050 AM);
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Rod Brooks, Eric Davis and Ted Robinson; Fernando Arias and Ambrosio Rico-Spanish
1946: After five years of petitioning the NFL for a franchise, trucking executive Tony Morabito spent $25,000 dollars and the San Francisco 49ers were named a charter member of the All-America Football Conference. The 49ers played their first ever game on August 31st against the Chicago Rockets, as roughly 40,000 fans watched the 49ers claim a 34-14 victory at Kezar Stadium. After playing mediocre football most of the season The 49ers ended their first season with three straight wins to post a solid 9-5 record.
1947: The 49ers became the first professional football team to sign an Asian American when they signed Running Back Wally Yonamine, with the hope that his breakaway speed would disrupt the opposition. The 49ers also opened the year wearing Red & Gold uniforms. The uniforms and Yonamine helped, as San Francisco rolled to an 8-4-2 record and a second place finish in the Western Division behind the Cleveland Browns.
1948: The 49ers averaged five Touchdowns a game and scored 495 points on the season; the ground game totaled 3,663 yards and averaged 6.5 yards per carry; Quarterback Frankie Albert threw for 2,104 yards and 29 Touchdowns, 14 of which were caught by Alyn Beals who remains the AAFC's all-time leading scorer with 285 points. All of the numbers led to an impressive 12-2 record, but no Championship as the 49ers could not catch the Cleveland Browns.
1949: Since the beginning of the AAFC the 49ers had established themselves as one of the premier teams. The only thing missing from their impressive three year run was a playoff appearance. That changed on December 4th at Kezar Stadium when the 49ers beat the New York Yankees 17-7, for a berth in the Championship Game with a 9-3 record. The Championship Game put the 49ers up against the Cleveland Browns, the AAFC's only Champion. Though they battled valiantly, the 49ers lost, 21-7, to the Browns in their last ever game in the AAFC.
1950: The 49ers are one of three teams to from the defunct AAFC to join the NFL. On September 17th San Francisco got its first taste of NFL football when the 49ers fell to the New York Yankees 21-17 at Kezar Stadium. The 49ers would find life rough in the NFL as they lost their first five games on the way to a 3-9 record.
1951: In their second NFL season, the 49ers showed immense improvement, and were in the race until the season's final day and finished only half a game off the top with a 7-4-1 record. Led by Linebacker Hardy Brown and his famed "shoulder tackle," the club had one of the toughest defensive units in the League. Meanwhile, Quarterback Y.A. Tittle and Wide Receiver Billy Wilson were part of an impressive group of rookies on offense.
1952: The 49ers get off a terrific start winning their first five games as Running Back Hugh McElhenny, established himself as one of the top runners in the league. However, the team's playoff hopes were dashed as the team lost five of their last seven games to finish with a 7-5 record.
1953: Led by a 1,000-yard rushing season from Fullback Joe Perry, the 49ers post an impressive 9-3 record. However they would come up one game short of the Division title, as they are swept by the Detroit Lions.
1954: The 49ers get off to a tremendous 4-0-1 start, as Joe Perry becomes the first rusher in NFL history to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. However, injuries to key players would lead to a second half slump as the 49ers finished with a 7-4-1 record. Following the season coach Buck Shaw is replaced by Red Strader.
1955: With Running Back Hugh McElhenny hobbled by a foot injury the 49ers struggle all season and finish with a disappointing 4-8 record. Following the season Coach Red Strader is fired after just one season and replaced by former Quarterback Frankie Albert.
1956: Under new Coach Frankie Albert the 49ers get off to a miserable start losing six of their first seven games. However, with the playoffs out of the question the 49ers closed the season in impressive fashion going unbeaten in their final five games to finish with a 5-6-1 record.
1957: Almost every game was a cliffhanger, as the Alley-Oop pass from Quarterback Y.A. Tittle to rookie Running Back R.C. Owens became a household word. Emotions reached a peak when beloved owner Tony Morabito collapsed and died of a heart attack during a game at Chicago against the Bears on October 27th Trailing 17-7, the 49ers fought back for a great victory, 21-17, and dedicated the win to their fallen owner, as Wide Receiver Billy Wilson caught a pass from Tittle for the winning touchdown in the 4th quarter. The 49ers would finish the season with an 8-4 record, earning a tie for the Western Division with the Detroit Lions. On December 22nd the 49ers face the Lions with a berth to the NFL Championship Game on the line at Kezar Stadium. The 49ers appeared to have the game in hand leading 27-7 in the 3rd Quarter. However, the Lions would score 24 unanswered points to break the hearts of San Francisco 31-27 to advance to he Championship.
1958: An up-and-down season ends on a high note with victories over the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Colts. However, the 6-6 record, was blackened by the 33-3 and 56-7 beatings at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams. Following the season Coach Frankie Albert resigns; he would be replaced by Red Hickey.
1959: The 49ers were in contention all season, as Quarterback John Brodie came into his own leading a comeback win over the Browns in Cleveland on November 29th. The 49ers would go on to finish the season in 3rd place with a solid 7-5 record.
1960: After playing mediocre football most of the season the 49ers salvage their season and finish with a 7-5 record, by winning four of their last five games after Coach Red Hickey installed the Shot Gun Offense.
1961: The Success of Coach Red Hickey's shotgun amazed the football world, as Quarterback Billy Kilmer, a passing-running rookie from UCLA, was made to order for the new offense. However, Kilmer would start to struggle and John Brodie took over again in the "T-Formation' and had a terrific season as the 49ers finished in second Place with a 7-6-1 record.
1962: The 49ers experience frustration from the start of the season, and finish with a disappointing 6-8 record. What was most confounding is that the won only one of their seven games at Kezar Stadium, while winning five of seven games on the road.
1963: A 49ers team beset with injuries gets off to a miserable start losing their first three games when Coach Red Hickey resigns. He would replaced by Jack Christiansen, but the 49ers would not do only winning two games on the season, and finishing in last place with a terrible 2-12 record.
1964: Injuries hamper the 49ers again as they finish with a miserable 4-0 record, despite having one of the league's stringiest defenses, which only yielded 230 points on the season. Outstanding rookie performances by Wide Receiver Dave Parks, Quarterback George Mira, and Linebacker Dave Wilcox also took some of the sting from the poor record.
1965: John Brodie bounces back form a few injury plagued seasons to be one of the NFL's most productive passers with 3,112 yards and 30 Touchdowns, as the 49ers rebound after to miserable last place seasons to finish in 4th Place with a 7-6-1 record.
1966: The 49ers play mediocre football all season amassing a 6-6-2 record. However, one of their wins comes against the Green Bay Packers, as the 49ers are just one of two teams to beat the eventual Super Bowl Champions.
1967: The 49ers break out of the gate in style winning five of their first six games including an October 8th 27-24 upset win over the Rams in Los Angeles. However, Quarterback John Brodie would go into a slump as the 49ers lost six straight games , ending their playoff hopers. Although they won their final two games of the season to finish with a 7-7 record, the 49ers still fired Coach Jack Christensen at the end of the season replacing him with Dick Nolan.
1968: John Brodie has a solid season passing for 3,020 yards as the 49ers have one of the top offenses in the NFL. However, the defense struggle with inconsistency as the 49ers dropped their last two games to finish with a 7-6-1 record.
1969: With injuries ravaging the defense the 49ers get off to a miserable start losing their first five games. The 49ers would finally get their first win of the season on October 26th when they stunned the Colts in Baltimore. The 49ers would go on to finish with a 4-8-2 record, as they finished strongly winning two of their last three games.
1970: Led by Quarterback John Brodie who wins the NFL MVP by passing 2,941 yards and 24 Touchdowns the 49ers capture their first Divisional Title with a 10-3-1 record. Also receiving honors was Cornerback Bruce Taylor who won Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. In the Divisional Playoffs at Minnesota the 49ers held off the Vikings 17-14 after Quarterback John Brodie put the game away with a one yard Touchdown plunge with less then two minutes left in the game. However, their season ended a week later with a disappointing 17-10 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the final game at Kezar Stadium.
1971: After winning two of their first three games on the road the 49ers lose their first game at Candlestick Park to the Los Angeles Rams 20-13. However, the 49ers would rebound and would go on to win the NFC West for the second year in a row by posting a 9-5 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the 49ers would fall behind the Washington Redskins early at Candlestick trailing at halftime 10-3. However, Quarterback John Brodie would have a spectacular second half leading the 49ers to thrilling 24-17 victory. However, for the second year in a row the 49ers season ends in disappointment with a 14-3 loss in the NFC Championship Game to the Cowboys in Dallas.
1972: Early season inconsistency is compounded by an injury to Quarterback John Brodie in the fifth game of the season, as the 49ers prospects for a third straight NFC Western title fall into doubt. However, Quarterback Steve Spurrier stepped in for Brodie and turned things around with a brilliant, poised performances to get the 49ers back in the playoff picture by going 5-2-1 over eight games. In the last game of the season Brodie returned in the 4th Quarter and threw two Touchdown passes to lead the 49ers to a 20-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, as the 49ers won the third straight Division Title with an 8-6-1 record. In the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick the 49ers looked poised for a return to the NFC Championship leading the Dallas Cowboys 28-13 entering the 4th Quarter. However, the Cowboys would score 17 points to break the hearts of San Francisco again.
1973: In what was a disappointing season form the start, the 49ers finish with a 5-9 record after tackling the NFL's toughest schedule, with a rash of key injuries. The season would also mark the end of Quarterback John Brodie's career, who retired after a disappointing turnover plagued season.
1974: The 49ers used five different Quarterbacks after an injury to starter Steve Spurrier, a week before the season opened, that sidelined him for most of the year. After winning the first two games, the team lost a team record seven straight games. However, they closed the season on an up note, winning four of their last five games to finish the season with a 6-8 record.
1975: A strong defensive performance throughout the season couldn't offset erratic offense, troubled by an unsettled quarterback situation and a rebuilding offensive line, as the 49ers finished with a disappointing 5-9 record. Following the season Coach Dick Nolan is fired and replaced by Monte Clark.
1976: With new Quarterback Jim Plunkett at the controls, the 49ers get off to their best start ever winning six of their first seven games. However, a midseason four game losing streak knocked the club out of playoff contention. The 49ers would win two of their last three games to finish with a solid 8-6 record. However, Coach Monte Clark is still fired, and replaced by Ken Meyer.
1977: Prior to the start of the season the 49ers are sold to Ohio businessman Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. The Debartolo era got off to a shaky start as the 49ers lost their first five games. However, the team would rebound to win five of their next six games, before their early season troubles arose again as the team lost their last three games to finish with a 5-9 record. Following the season Coach Ken Meyer is fired, and replaced by Pete McCulley.
1978: Prior to the start of the season the 49ers made a blockbuster deal acquiring Running Back O.J. Simpson form the Buffalo Bills for draft picks. However, O.J. was held to just 593 yards on the season as he was sidelined most of the season with a shoulder injury. In addition Quarterback Steve DeBerg struggled throwing almost three interceptions for every Touchdown, as the 49ers got off to a miserable 1-8 start. The 49ers would fire Coach Pete McCulley, but under Fred O'Connor the team could not do any better finishing with a franchise worse 2-14 record.
1979: Under new Coach Bill Walsh the 49ers would struggle to another terrible 2-14 record. However, all over there were signs of improvement as the offense went form one of the worst in the NFL to one of the best despite another disappointing season form O.J. Simpson, a season that would be his last. However, while O.J. was ending his career, a Rookie Quarterback from Notre Dame was just getting started debuting with 96 yards at one Touchdown pass in 23 attempts, named Joe Montana.
1980: The 49ers showed gradual improvement in their rebuilding program under Coach Bill Walsh. A three game winning streak to open the season, combined with a three game victory string from Week 12 through Week 14 enabled the 49ers to post a 6-10 season, tripling the number of victories from each of the previous two seasons. Their Week 14 win made NFL history, as Quarterback Joe Montana who earned the starting job at the end of the season, led the 49ers to an amazing 38-35 overtime win over the New Orleans Saints at Candlestick, after the 49ers trailed at halftime 35-7. The comeback was the biggest comeback in NFL history at the time.
1981: The season did not start out very good, as the 49ers lost two of their first three games including a season opening loss in Detroit to the Lions. However, the 49ers would lose just one more game the rest of the season and captured the NFC West Title with a 13-3 record. Getting the credit for the turn around was Coach Bill Walsh who was voted the Coach of the Year. However, Walsh had lots of help as Quarterback Joe Montana passed for 3,565 yards in his first full season as starter. Also helping to guide the turn around was a vastly improved defense led by the addition of rookies in the secondary Cornerback Eric Wright, and Safeties Carlton Williamson and Saftey Ronnie Lott. In the playoffs for the first time in nine years the 49ers hosted the New York Giants in the Divisional Playoffs. After playing to a 7-7 stalemate in the 1st Quarter the 49ers pulled ahead in the 2nd Quarter by scoring 17 points. After the Giants got to within a Touchdown in the 4th Quarter the 49ers put the game away with two quick Touchdowns capped by a 20 yard Interception return from Safety Ronnie Lott, as the 49ers won the game 38-24. In the NFC Championship at Candlestick the 49ers faced their old nemeses the Dallas Cowboys. The game would go back and forth all afternoon, as the 49ers looked to be going down again trailing 27-21 late in the 4th Quarter facing the task of driving 89 yards for a Touchdown. However, the world was introduced to the Montana magic as the 49ers young Quarterback drove the 49ers down the field. With less than a minute left the 49ers faced 3rd Down and Goal from the six yard line, as Joe Montana was flushed form the pocket. Trying to avoid a backbreaking sack Montana tried to throw the ball out the back of the endzone. However, Wide Receiver Dwight Clark leaped up and brought the ball down with perhaps the most famous catch in NFL history to give the 49ers a 28-27 lead. The 49ers would go on to hold on for the win, as a dynasty was born.
Super Bowl XVI: In a year of surprises the 49ers faced the Cincinnati Bengals who also rose from last place in 1980 in the Super Bowl that was played in all places Pontiac, a suburb of Detroit. The 49ers would get off to a quick start leading the game 20-0 at halftime. However, in the 4th Quarter the Bengals began to make a comeback getting to within six points. However, the 49ers would hold on to win 26-21 as Kicker Ray Wershing added two Field Goals to set a Super Bowl record with four, as Joe Montana was named the games MVP. However, the highlight of the game was an incredible defensive stand in which the 49ers turned the Bengals away four times from the goal line to hold on to their lead.
1982: The 49ers stumble out of the gate losing their first two games before a two month player's strike cut the season down from 16 games to nine. However, the 49ers would still struggle when play resumed missing the playoffs with a 3-6 record, as they lost all five games played at Candlestick Park. Despite the poor season Joe Montana had another stellar year passing for 2,613 yards in just nine games, highlighted by five straight games in which he broke the 300-yard barrier.
1983: The 49ers win their final three games of the season to finish with a 10-6 record, to win the NFC Western Division for the second time in three years. Leading the rebound was Joe Montana who had another stellar season passing for 3,910 yards, and connecting on 26 Touchdowns. In the playoffs the 49ers host the Detroit Lions in the Divisional Playoffs. The 49er would jump out in front early, and led 17-9 entering the 4th Quarter. The Lions would roar back scoring two Touchdowns to take a 23-17 lead. However, Montana would lead a comeback hitting Wide Receiver Freddie Solomon on a game winning 14-yard Touchdown pass with two minutes left. In the NFC Championship Game in Washington the 49ers found themselves at the wrong end of a 21-0 deficit entering the 4th Quarter. The 49ers would strike back scoring on three Joe Montana Touchdown passes. However, the Redskins would win the game 24-21 on a Mark Mosley Field Goal with 40 seconds left.
1984: The 49ers come flying out of the gates winning their first 6 games. However, their winning streak would come to an end with a 20-17 loss in the final seconds of an October 14th game to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park. That loss would end up being the only loss on the season as the 49ers won the NFC West with a spectacular 15-1 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the 49ers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead, over the New York Giants. However, the Giants would get back into the game when Joe Montana had an interception ran back for a Touchdown. The 49ers would bounce back quickly scoring on a Montana to Freddie Solomon 29 yard Touchdown pass to take a 21-10 halftime lead. From there the 49ers defense took over as no points were scored by either team in the second half. In the NFC Championship Game, the 49ers defense once again was the key as they recorded nine sacks in an impressive 23-0 shutout win over the Chicago Bears.
Super Bowl XIX: The 49ers were back in the Super Bowl as they faced the Miami Dolphins in a battle of superstar Quarterbacks. For this battle the 49ers had the hug advantage of playing a virtual home game in near by Palo Alto. The 49ers fell behind early 10-7, but would rally back to take a 28-16 halftime lead behind the running of Roger Craig, and the passing of Joe Montana. In the second half the 49ers defense stiffened up not allowing another point while the 49ers scored ten points in the 3rd Quarter to claim their second Lombardi Trophy with a 38-16 victory. Leading the charge to victory was Fullback Roger Craig who scored a rushing Touchdown, and caught two other Touchdown passes and Quarterback Joe Montana who was named MVP with 331 yards passing and four Touchdowns.
1985: Roger Craig made history by becoming the first player ever to have 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Also making in impact was Rookie Wide Receiver Jerry Rice, who collects 927 receiving yards in his first season while catching three Touchdowns. However, the 49ers would lose their grip on the division title and would have to settle for the Wild Card with a 10-6 record. In the Wild Card game in New York against the Giants the 49ers rolled up more offensive yards, but could not cash it in, as their season ended with a disappointing 17-3 loss.
1986: The 49ers season opened up with a 31-7 win over the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, but the win was costly as Joe Montana injured his back, which put him on the shelf for two months. While Montana was out the 49ers threaded water under back up Jeff Kemp, going 4-3-1. When Montana returned the 49ers caught fire winning five of their last seven games including a 24-14 win over the Los Angeles Rams at Candlestick Park, which one them the NFC West title with a 10-5-1 record. However, their season came to an abrupt end in the Divisional Playoff in New York. The game was never close as the Giants dominated the game winning 49-3, as Joe Montana is knocked out in the 2nd Quarter.
1987: After losing their season opener in Pittsburgh against the Steelers the 49ers were staring at a 0-2 start in the face trailing the Bengals 26-20 in Cincinnati. However, Joe Montana would drive the team down the field and one the game with a last second Touchdown pass. The win was very important in that the players went on strike, and the NFL used replacement players for the next three games. However, the 49ers scabs would handle themselves very well, winning all three games before the regulars returned. The 49ers would go on to claim the NFC West with a 13-2 record, as Jerry Rice set a record with 22 Touchdown receptions, earning him Offensive Player of the year honors. However, in the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick the 49ers found themselves in a 20-3 hole against the Minnesota Vikings as Quarterback Joe Montana struggled, Montana would be benched in the second half as Steve Young came off the bench and got the team back in the game, but it was too late at the season ended with a 36-24 loss.
1988: The 49ers would get off to a solid 5-2 start, but things looked bleak after a they lost four of their next five games to fall two games out of first with a 6-5 record. Making matter worse was the fact that relationships were being strained between coach Bill Walsh and Joe Montana over the playoff benching in the previous season, and management who felt Walsh was overstepping his bounds. As rumors flew around that Walsh was set to be fired the 49ers won four straight games and won the NFC West with a 10-6 record. In the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick the 49ers got revenge by beating the Minnesota Vikings in convincing fashion 34-9. Leading the way to victory was Jerry Rice who caught three Touchdown passes, and Roger Craig who sealed the game with a record 80-yard Touchdown run. In the NFC Championship Game the 49ers faced the Bears and wind chills that were 26 degrees below zero at Solider Field in Chicago. However, the cold seemed to affect the Bears more as the 49ers defense shut down the Bears, as the team advanced to their thirrd Super Bowl with a convincing 28-3 win.
Super Bowl XXIII: The 49ers were back in the Super Bowl facing the Cincinnati Bengals in Miami. The game was stalemate late into the 3rd Quarter as both teams could only manage six points. However, the Bengals would take a 13-6 lead into the 4th Quarter after Stanford Jennings returned a kick for a Touchdown. The 49ers would bounce back quickly tying the game on a Joe Montana to Jerry Rice Touchdown pass in the 4th Quarter. However, the Bengals took a 16-13 lead with a little over three minutes left. Making matters worse was that a penalty forced the 49ers to start their last drive on their own eight yard line. However, Joe was cool under pressure, again methodically driving the 49ers up the field, and deep into Bengals territory. With 39 seconds left Montana coolly hit Wide Receiver John Taylor in the middle of the endzone to give the 49ers a dramatic 20-16 comeback victory. Jerry Rice would go on to earn Super Bowl MVP. However, the season would be the last for Coach Bill Walsh who retired after winning his third Lombardi Trophy of the decade.
1989: Under new Coach George Seifert the 49ers looked even stronger winning the NFC West easily with a 14-2 record, while winning all eight games on the road. The season was also the best of Joe Montana's career as he won NFL MVP, and Offensive Player of the Year honors by passing for 3,521 yards and throwing 28 Touchdown passes to just eight Interceptions. The 49ers continued to roll in the Divisional Playoff easily beating the Minnesota Vikings 41-13 at Candlestick Park. In the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams the 49ers fell behind 3-0 after one Quarter, before scoring three Touchdowns in the 2nd Quarter to take control of the game. The 49ers would not look back winning the game easily 30-3 to advance to their fourth Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XXIV: In New Orleans the 49ers faced the Denver Broncos in a Super Bowl that was more of a coronation then a contest. The 49ers would grab control of the early, and would not be stopped scoring two Touchdowns in each Quarter, in a 55-10 blowout win that established the 49ers as one of the greatest teams in NFL history. The game set record for both most points scored, and largest margin of victory as Joe Montana won a record third Super Bowl MVP, while leading the 49ers to a record tying fourth Super Bowl victory.
1990: With one goal in mind the 49ers took control of the NFC West early by winning their first ten games. The 49ers undefeated hopes ended with a 28-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on November 25th at Candlestick Park. The loss would be a minor bump in the road as the 49ers finished with a 14-2 record for the second season in a row, as Joe Montana captured his second straight MVP. The 49ers quest for a threepeat began in earnest with a 28-10 win over the Washington Redskins in the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick. However, the big game would be the NFC Championship as the 49ers faced the New York Giants. The game was defensive struggle just like their regular season match up, but he Giants managed to stay in the game by hitting Field Goals. The game turned in the 4th Quarter with 49ers leading 13-9 when Joe Montana was injured on a vicious hit form Leonard Marshall that also caused a fumble. The Giants would take advantage adding another Field Goal to get within one point. However the 49ers looked to be in good shape running out the clock with a little over two minutes left, but suddenly Roger Craig had the ball stripped and the Giants had new life. The Giants would get the ball down the field and with time expiring nailed their fifth Field Goal of the day to stun the 49ers 15-13, ending their dreams of a threepeat.
1991: With Joe Montana lost for the season, the Quarterback job fell to Steve Young who played well capturing the NFL passing title. However, the 49ers would lose six of their first ten games by a total of 26 points. No loss was as agonizing as a stunning last minute 17-14 loss to the Falcons in Atlanta. The game also saw Steve Young go down with a knee injury. However, his back up Steve Bono played well as the 49ers won five straight games. Young would come back for the season finale as the 49ers won their sixth straight game to close the season with a 10-6 record. However, it was not good enough for the playoffs as the 49ers missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
1992: With Joe Montana still on the shelf, Quarterback Steve Young firmly established himself as the new starter by winning the NFL MVP by passing for 3,465 yards, and running for another 537 yards, as the 49ers reclaimed supremacy in the NFC with a 14-2 record. The final game of the season gave rise to Quarterback controversy as Joe Montana saw his first action in nearly two years. Once the playoffs started Montana returned to the bench as the 49ers defeated the Washington Redskins 20-13 in the divisional playoffs at Candlestick Park. However, the 49ers season would end in disappointment with a 30-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Following the season the 49ers traded Joe Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs allowing Steve Young to become the starter without the fear of looking over his shoulder.
1993: With Steve Young passing for 4,023 yards the 49ers would break the 10-win barrier for the 11th season in a row by finishing with a 10-6 record that also earned them the NFC Western Division Championship. In the Divisional Playoffs the 49ers slaughtered the New York Giants 44-3 extracting revenge for 3 frustrating playoff losses, as Ricky Watters ran all over the Giants, scoring 4 Touchdowns. However, the 49ers season would end in disappointment with a 38-21 loss to the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game played in Dallas.
1994: Hoping to get over the top the 49ers rebuilt their defense signing such stars as Ken Norton Jr., and Deion Sanders. However, injuries in the early going had them playing mediocre football early in the season. In a Week 5 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles frustrations boiled over as Steve Young had a screaming match after being benched in a 40-8 loss at Candlestick Park that dropped the 49ers to 3-2. A week later in Detroit the 49ers found themselves in a hole again trailing the Lions 14-0. However, the 49ers would rally to win the game 27-21, sparking a ten game winning streak that captured the NFC West title with a 13-3 record. Steve Young would go on to win the NFL MVP as the 49ers captured Home Field Advantage. Also earning honors was Deion Sanders who was named Defensive Player of the Year. In the Playoffs the 49ers continued to roll beating the Chicago Bears 44-15 in the Divisional Playoffs to set up a rematch with Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game. After two frustrating season ending losses to the Cowboys the 49ers were determined to extract revenge. Within the first five minutes of the game the 49ers had stranglehold scoring 21 points. The Cowboys would comeback to make a game of it, but the 49ers would hold them off and would advance to their fifth Super Bowl with a solid 38-28 win.
Super Bowl XXIX: The 49ers had reached Miami where they were overwhelming favorites facing the San Diego Chargers with the Super Bowl on the line. The game was over quickly as the 49ers scored on their first possessions when Steve Young connected with Jerry Rice on a 44-yard TD pass. The 49ers would go on to control the game and the temps and went into halftime leading 28-10. In the 3rd Quarter the 49ers added two Touchdown passes, before the Chargers scored on a kickoff return. As the 4th Quarter began Steve Young salted the game away by throwing his sixth Touchdown pass to earn MVP honors, as the 49ers went on to win their record 5th Super Bowl with a 49-26 victory.
1995: The 49ers were dealt a blow when the season started, as they were unable to re-sign Cornerback Deion Sanders. Things would only get worse as injuries snuck up and bit them as they got off to a 5-4 start. Among the fallen was Fullback William Floyd, whose career would never be the same after a server knee injury. Also going down was Steve Young, but in his absence Elvis Grbac performed well helping the 49ers win three key games, before Young returned. The 49ers would go on to capture the NFC West again, with an 11-5 record. However, the 49ers season would end quickly with a stunning 27-17 home loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Playoffs, at the newly renamed 3Com Park.
1996: Once again the 49ers were one of the op teams in the NFL compiling a 12-4 record, to break the ten win mark for the 14th season in a row, setting a new NFL record. However, two losses to the Carolina Panthers cost them the Division Title, as the 49ers had to settle for the Wild Card. In the Wild Card Game at 3Com Park the 49ers hosted the Philadelphia Eagles on windy and rainy day by the bay. With the field soaked offense was hard to come by as the 49ers shut down the Eagles, and advanced to Divisional Round with a 14-0 win. A week later rain again played a factor as the 49ers turned the ball over five times in a disappointing 35-14 loss to the Packers in Green Bay. Following the season Coach George Seifert would resign; he would eventually be replaced by Steve Mariucci.
1997: Things looked bleak after the first game of the season when Jerry Rice injured his knee in a 13-6 loss to the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay. Also experience pain was Steve Young who suffered a concussion in the same game. However, Young would shake t off and lead the 49ers to 11 straight wins. Rice also would return earlier then expected scoring a Touchdown in the next to last game of the season. However, on the play he reinjures his knee, ending his season. Despite the injuries the 49ers would still capture the NFC West with a 13-3 record. In the Divisional Playoffs at 3Com the 49ers held off a late challenge from the Minnesota Vikings to advance to the Championship Game with a 38-22 victory. However a week later the 49ers season ended with a disappointing 23-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers, on a rain soaked 3Com Field.
1998: Steve Young was at it again passing for 4,170 yards, as the 49ers had one of the most productive offenses in the NFL. While Young led the team with his arm Jerry Rice bounced back for 1,157 yards in receptions while Running Back Garrison Hearst had a career year with 1,570 yards on the ground. However, the defense showed some weakness allowing 326 points as the 49ers lost the Division crown, despite another solid 12-4 record. In the Wild Card Game at 3Com Park the 49ers hosted the Green Bay Packers in a thrilling game that went back and forth. Things looked bleak when the 49ers trailed 27-23 in the waning seconds. However, in one last moment of glory Steve Young hit Terrell Owens on a dramatic game 25-yard Touchdown pass that gave the Niners a 30-27 win with three seconds left. In the Divisional Playoffs in Atlanta the 49ers found themselves behind the eight ball early as Running Back Garrison Hearst suffered a broken leg. The 49ers would make a late charge but it was too little to late as the Falcons won the game 20-18.
1999: The 49ers started the season a man down when Garrison Hearst was placed on injured reserve missing the entire season while trying to recover was his playoff knee injury. Things only got worse during a 24-10 Monday Night win over the Cardinals in Arizona when Steve Young suffered a concussion. The concussion would lead to the end of his career, as back up Jeff Garcia won his first start to improve the 49ers record to 3-1. However, a depleted defense which allowed 453 would become exposed as the 49ers lost eight straight games and 11 of their last 12 games to finish with a 4-12 record, bringing their string of 16 consecutive 10-win seasons to an end.
2000: In his first full season as starter Quarterback Jeff Garcia established himself as star by passing for 4,278 yards while throwing 31 Touchdown passes. However, the 49ers young defense was taken advantage of early and often as the 49ers lost eight of their first ten games. However the 49ers would win three games in a row, and four of out five games to close the season on a strong note despite a 6-10 record. The season also marked the end of an era as Wide Receiver Jerry Rice, the greatest receiver of al-time was let go following the season, as a Salary Cap casualty. In his final season with the 49ers Rice scored seven Touchdowns while collecting 805 receiving yards.
2001: While the 49ers defense continued to come of age the 49ers offense was bolstered by the return of Garrison Hearst who had missed two straight seasons. Hearst had a stellar year rushing for 1,206 yards as the 49ers had complete versatile offense. Also aiding the 49ers was Quarterback Jeff Garcia who passed for 3,538 yards, as the 49ers emerged as a playoff contender posting an impressive 12-4 record. In the Divisional Playoffs the 49ers faced the Packers in Green Bay in a game that went back and forth. The 49ers would tie the game 15-15 early in the 4th Quarter. However, it was not meant to be as the Packers scored ten unanswered points to pull out a 25-15 victory.
2002: The 49ers quickly grabbed control of the NFC West by winning seven of their first nine games as the rest of the division struggled. Along the way Terrell Owens created a league wide stir when he pulled a marker out of his sock, and signed the football for a friend in the stands, after catching a Touchdown Pass during a Monday Night win over the Seattle Seahawks on the road. However, down the stretch the 49ers would only play mediocre football as talk of a falling out with Coach Steve Mariucci and the front office hung over the team much of the final moth, as the 49ers won the NFC West with a record of 10-6. In the playoffs it looked as if the late season struggles would continue as they fell behind 38-14 midway through the 3rd Quarter at 3Com Park against the New York Giants. However Quarterback Jeff Garcia would spark a stirring comeback as the 49ers scored 25 unanswered points to take a 39-38 lead. However, they would have to survive a failed Giants field goal attempt to hold on and advance to the next round. In the Divisional Playoffs the 49ers would fall behind early again, trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road 28-6 at halftime. However, this time there would be no comeback as the 49ers were mauled by the eventual Super Bowl Champions 31-6. Following the playoffs the 49ers would fire Coach Steve Mariucci despite making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs.
2003: The 49ers kicked off the season in high fashion with an impressive 49-7 win over the Chicago Bears. However they would lose their next three games as the impending option year of Terrell Owens contract weighed on the team early with him continually squabbling with Quarterback Jeff Garcia and on the sidelines with assistant coaches. After splitting the next four games the 49ers season looked heading for disaster as Garcia was sidelined with a back injury. However back up Tim Rattay would come in and lead two straight wins to get the 49ers back to .500 at 5-5. However after a shaky performance in a road loss to the Green Bay Packers the 49ers turned back to Jeff Garcia, who this time would be missing his favorite target as Terrell Owens suffered a season ending broken collar bone in practice. Without Owens the 49ers would struggle down the stretch as they finished in third place with a 7-9 record. Following the season the 49ers would purge their roster trading Terrell Owens whose chance at free agency was blown by a paper work error, but rather then keep their talented by trouble making star the 49ers chose to rebuild and in addition let go several other key players including Quarterback Jeff Garcia, Running Back Garrison Hearst, and Wide Recevier Tai Streets.
2004: On the tenth Anniversary of their fifth Super Bowl Championship the 49ers were a fry cry from their glory days, as an off-season purge of the roster left behind a team that resembled an expansion team as 49ers fans used to contending teams turned against owner John York, who fans blamed for letting the once golden franchise become tarnished. From the start of the season it was obvious how bad the 49ers were as they dropped their first three games. On the verge of going 0-4 the 49ers staged a 4th Quarter rally to beat the Arizona Cardinals in overtime 31-28, but it would be one tiny ray of hope in an otherwise gloomy season as the 49ers posted a franchise worst 2-14 record, beating the Cardinals in overtime again in a Week 14 rematch. Following the season the 49ers began the long road back as they fired Coach Dennis Erickson and replaced him with Mike Nolan the son of Dick Nolan who led the 49ers from 1968-1975, taking them as far as the NFC Championship Game twice.
2005: Finishing with the worst record in the NFL allowed the 49ers to draft first and hoping to build a foundation for the future they would select QB Alex Smith out of Utah. With Smith leading the way the 49ers now have one of the youngest teams in the NFL, and they would have to grow up fast as Lineman Thomas Herrion, a college teammate of Smith at Utah who was trying for a spot on the team after playing in NFL Europe, died suddenly of a heart attack following a preseason game against the Denver Broncos. When the regular season started the 49ers led by Coach Mike Nolan looked to erase the bad memories of 2004 right away as they stunned the St. Louis Rams in the opener 28-25 as Brandon Lloyd and Arnaz Battle caught 2nd Quarter Touchdown passes from Tim Rattay. However, Week 2 would bring a cold slap of reality as the 49ers were hammered on the road by the Philadelphia Eagles 42-3, with ex-49er WR Terrell Owens racking up 143 yards with two Touchdowns. The loss would be the start of a five game losing streak as Tim Rattay is benched and eventually traded following a 31-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City. The departure of Rattay cleared the way for top pick Alex Smith who clearly was not ready, as the 49ers would be outscored in his first two starts 80-20. By the time the losing streak would end in Week 7, Smith would be back on the sideline with an injury as Ken Dorsey started and past for a mere 40 yards as the 49ers defense took advantage of several mistakes by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a 15-10 win. That win was followed by another seven straight losses as the 49ers struggled each week just to keep the game close. Eventually Smith would return and would look a little better, finally getting his first Touchdown pass after 11 interceptions as the 49ers ended the season with two straight wins to finish at 4-12.
2006: In the 49ers season opener the Arizona Cardinals opened a new ultra modern stadium by jumping out to a 21-7 lead. Though the 49ers would not win they showed the ability to fight back eventually losing 34-27. In their own season opener, the 49ers would be more successful beating the St. Louis Rams 20-17, sparked by a 72-yard Touchdown pass from Alex Smith to Antonio Bryant. However, the young 49ers still had a long road to climb back to respectability as they lost four of their next five games in embarrassing fashion. However, like their season opener the 49ers showed the ability to fight back as on the heels of allow 89 points over two games the 49ers stunned the Minnesota Vikings 9-3 in an ugly battle of field goals, where neither offense could get anything going. A week later the 49ers earned their first road win, beating the Detroit Lions 19-13 powered by the running of Frank Gore who rushed for 159 yards, highlighted by a 61-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. The 49ers would stay hot as they returned home, winning their third straight against the first place Seattle Seahawks 20-13, as Frank Gore rushed for 212 yards, setting a new 49ers single game record. However, after battling their way back to 5-5 the 49ers once again dropped three in a row, before facing the Seahawks again on the road on a cold rainy night in Seattle. Trailing most of the game 7-3, the 49ers errupted for three Alex Smith Touchdowns in the 4th Quarter to complete a stunning two game sweep of the Seahawks 24-14, keeping their faint playoff hopes alive. However, a week later the 49ers would be eliminated as they were beaten by the Cardinals for the second time, 26-20. With nothing else to play for in their final game of the season, the 49ers seemed to relish their roll of spoiler, fighting back from an early 13-0 deficit to stun the Denver Broncos in overtime 26-23 on a 36-yard Field Goal by Joe Nedney that sent the Broncos home for the winter as well. While the 49ers still finished below .500, their 7-9 third place finish was considered something to build upon.
2007: Coming off their strong finish the 49ers entered the season with playoff aspirations, as they beat the Arizona Cardinals 20-17 in dramatic fashion on Monday Night in Week 1 as Arnaz Battle scored on an end around to cap an 86-yard touchdown drive. A week later the 49ers turned a muff punt into victory as Dante Hall dropped a punt in the fourth quarter which helped set Joe Nedney up for a 40-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 17-16 win over the St. Louis Rams on the road. However, despite being 2-0 the 49ers offense did not play well and the bloom would quickly fall off the rose, as they went into a quick tailspin injured his shoulder forcing the 49ers to turn to Trent Dilfer at quarterback. Dilfer would struggle; Smith would struggle when he returned as the 49ers offense stalled as they dropped eight in a row. The 49ers offensive struggles would come to an end in the desert as they beat the Cardinals for the second time in overtime 37-31 recovering a Kurt Warner fumble in the endzone, after Trent Dilfer had a strong game with 256 yards passing and two Touchdown passes, while Frank Gore had two rushing touchdowns with 116 yards. However, the 49ers season was lost, as they continued to struggle losing their next two games. With third string Quarterback Shaun Hill the 49ers would win their last two home games, but in the end the 49ers 5-11 season had the 49ers further away from the playoffs then they were a year earlier, as a draft day trade had saw the 49ers send their 2008 number one pick to the New England Patriots for in 2007 to draft Joe Staley with the 28th overall pick. Meanwhile, the 49ers other 2007 first round pick Patrick Willis excelled on defense leading the team with 174 tackles as he was named Defensive Rookie of the Year.
2008: With former number one draft pick Alex Smith being labeled a bust, J.T. O'Sullivan started the season as the 49ers Quarterback. After losing the season opener to the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers showed some resilience as O'Sullivan overcame seven sacks as the 49ers stunned the Seattle Seahawks on the road in overtime 33-30. A week later the 49ers would look strong again beating up the Detroit Lions 31-13. However, the 49ers would drop their next four games, costing Coach Mike Nolan his job. The 49ers would name Hall of Famer Mike Singletarry who was serving as an assistant coach. The 49ers would lose Singletarry's debut as Shaun Hill took over at Quarterback in a 34-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick Park. During the loss a frustrated Singletarry sent Tight End Vernon Davis to the locker early, while chewing the team out at halftime. Following a bye week the 49ers played considerably better, but ended up dropping their sixth game in a row to the Arizona Cardinals on the road 29-24. However, the hard work would start to pay off as the 49ers would win three of their next four games, including a 24-14 win over the New York Jets who were in playoff contention. After a 14-9 loss to the Miami Dolphins, the 49ers would close the season on a strong note, winning their last two games to post a 7-9 record.
2009: Heading into the season the 49ers made a change to their uniforms, returning to the look they had during their glory days. They would start the season on a positive note by stunning the defending NFC Champion Arizona Cardinals on the road 17-13, as QB Shaun Hill led them on an 80 yard touchdown drive to take the lead for good in the 4th Quarter. A week later in their home opener, the 49ers would improve to 2-0 with a 23-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks, as Running Back Frank Gore rushed for 207 yards with which included a 79 yard and an 80 yard touchdown run. The 49ers appeared to be on the way to 3-0 as they led the Minnesota Vikings 24-20 in the final seconds at the Metrodome. However, with two seconds left Vikings Quarterback Brett Favre would hit Greg Lewis in the back of the endzone to give the Vikings a 27-24 win. The 49ers would show no ill effect as they quickly rebounded to beat the St. Louis Rams at home 35-0 the following week. However, just before the bye week the 49ers suffered a setback losing to the Atlanta Falcons 45-10. After the bye the 49ers continued to struggle, as they trailed the Houston Texans 21-0 at halftime. Coach Mike Singletary would bench QB Shaun Hill in favor of Alex Smith, who nearly brought the Niners all the way back as the Texans won the game 24-21. A week later Alex Smith would start his first game since 2007, as the 49ers dropped to 3-4 with an 18-14 loss on the road against the Indianapolis Colts. After dropping their fourth straight game against the Tennessee Titans, the 49ers used their defense to get back on track against the Chicago Bears, winning 10-6 as they picked off Bears QB Jay Cutler five times, including an interception by Michael Lewis to seal the victory. After splitting their next two games, the 49ers would suffer a 20-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks as Olindo Mare nailed a 30 yard field goal as time expired. The loss all but ended the 49ers hopes of making the playoffs. However, with a 24-9 win at Candlestick Park a week later, the 49ers earned a season sweep of the NFC West Champion Arizona Cardinals, using seven turnovers to confound the Cardinals all game. Following a 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on the road, the 49ers would close the season by beating up on the Detroit Lions and St. Louis Rams to finish at 8-8.
2010: After a strong finish in 2009, the 49ers began the season with high hopes as they were considered the favorites to win the NFC West. Things would not start smoothly for the 49ers as they suffered a 31-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the season opener. A week later the 49ers would host the defending champion New Orleans Saints in their home opener on Monday Night Football. The 49ers would put forth a great effort, but came up just short losing 25-22 on 37 yard Field Goal by Garrett Hartley as time expired. After an ugly 31-10 road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs dropped them to 0-3, the 49ers appeared to be on the verge of a road upset of the Atlanta Falcons leading 14-13, when Nate Clements intercepted QB Matt Ryan. However, while returning the ball Clements was stripped by Roddy White giving the Falcons another chance. The Falcons would go on to win the game 16-14 on a 43 yard Field Goal by Matt Bryant. Returning to Candlestick Park, the 49ers continued to lose close games dropping to 0-5 with a 27-24 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers would earn their first win a week later as they beat the Oakland Raiders 17-9 at Candlestick Park in a Battle for Bay Area bragging rights. Leading the Carolina Panthers 20-13 late in the 4th Quarter, the 49ers would give 10 points in the final 1:53, losing 23-20 as back up QB David Carr threw a crippling interception after the Panthers had tied the game. With Alex Smith injured 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith would get the start as the 49ers faced the Denver Broncos in London. Troy Smith would strong as the 49ers scored 21 points in the 4th Quarter to win their second game 24-16. After a bye week, Troy Smith would get the start at home, passing for 356 yards as the 49ers edged the St. Louis Rams in overtime 23-20 on Joe Nedney's 29 yard Field Goal. The 49ers winning way would not continue, as they suffered a 21-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It was the first time they were shutout at Candlestick Park since 1977. The 49ers would rebound to beat the Arizona Cardinals on the road 27-6 a week later, but lost RB Frank Gore for the rest of the season with a broken hip. Against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, the 49ers wasted plenty of good opportunities early and ended up losing 34-16. Alex Smith would return to the starting lineup, passing for 255 yards with three touchdowns as the 49ers beat the Seahawks 40-21 at Candlestick Park. However, the 49ers would lose their next two games to the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Rams. Following the loss to the Rams, the 49ers decided to part ways with Coach Mike Singletary. With Defensive line coach Jim Tomsula filling in as interim coach, the 49ers would end the season with a 38-7 win over the Cardinals, avoiding last place as they ended the year with a record of 6-10, Following the season the 49ers would name Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh to be their new head coach.
2011: After hiring Jim Harbaugh who helped turnaround Stanford, as their new Head Coach the 49ers began to revaluate the quarterback position. Perhaps due to the lockout they had no other choice but to stick with Alex Smith. Meanwhile they shored up their defense by drafting Aldon Smith and signing free agent Carlos Rogers. To improve the kicking game the 49ers signed Pro Bowler David Akers from the Philadelphia Eagles. Opening the season against the Seattle Seahawks at Candlestick, Akers paid dividends right away with four field goals. However, it was Ted Ginn Jr. who made the big plays returning a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown as the 49ers won 33-17. The 49ers jumped out to a 14-0 lead against the Dallas Cowboys a week later. After the Cowboys battled back to tie the game, the 49ers took a 24-14 lead in the fourth quarter. However, the Cowboys would battle back again and win the game in overtime 27-24. The 49ers would rebound with a 13-8 win on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, which was followed by a 24-23 upset of the Philadelphia Eagles that saw RB Frank Gore make the wing score with 3:12 left as Justin Smith force a fumble to seal the road win. After a 48-3 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the 49ers continued to play well on the road, stunning the unbeaten Detroit Lions 25-19, as Coach Jim Harbaugh demonstrated his intensity in post game confrontation with Lions Coach Jim Schwartz. Following the bye week, the 49ers continued their winning ways as they beat the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins. In a showdown against the New York Giants, at Candlestick Park, David Akers played a key role in getting the early lead with four field goals, while Alex Smith sealed the 27-20 win with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A week later they would earn their eight straight win against the Arizona Cardinals. The 23-7 win assured the 49ers of their first winning season in nine years as they all but clinched the NFC West. In a special Thanksgiving Night game against the Baltimore Ravens, sibling rivalry was the desert as Coach Jim Harbaugh faced his older brother John Harbaugh, who are the son of a football coach. Both teams came in playing well, and the game was a defensive struggle with each team trading field goals for the first three quarters. In the end the Ravens would win the game with ten unanswered points in the fourth quarter to win the game 16-6. The 49ers would rebound at home, as they blanked the St. Louis Rams 26-0 to sew up the division championship. After suffering a letdown against the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers defense showed just how strong they could be as they battled through power outages at Candlestick to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-3. The 49ers would close the season with wins against the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams to finish with a record of 13-3, earning a first round bye. Jim Harbaugh was named Coach of the Year, as thev 49ers sent nine players to the Pro Bowl, with six players being named All-Pros.
2011 Playoffs: In the playoffs the 49ers hosted the New Orleans Saints in a battle of contrasting styles, as the 49ers relied and a bruising defense, while the Saints relied on high octane offense. The 49ers defense made a big play early as a bone jarring hit by Donte Whitner on Pierre Thomas ended a 78 yard drive with a fumble at the 49ers 2 yard line. The 49ers would score first as Alex Smith hooked up with Tight End Vernon Davis on a 49 yard Touchdown. After Dashon Goldson picked off Drew Brees, Smith doubled the lead to 14-0 finding Michael Crabtree in the endzone. The Saints would quickly battle back as the 49ers took a 17-14 lead into halftime. After the half the game became back and forth battle as the two teams traded the lead several times. With just over two minutes left QB Alex Smith gave the 49ers a 29-24 lead on a 28 yard bootleg. However, the Saints quickly struck back as Drew Brees drove them 88 yards in just 34 seconds hitting Jimmy Graham from 66 yards to give the Saints a 32-29 lead. From there it was Alex Smith who coolly and calmly drove the 49ers down the field 85 yards as he found Vernon Davis in the endzone with nine seconds left to win the game for the 49ers 36-32. After the Green Bay Packers were upset by the New York Giants, Candlestick Park would play host to the NFC Championship Game. On a rainy afternoon in San Francisco, the 49ers would strike first as Smith and Davis hooked up for a 73 yard Touchdown to take a 7-0 lead. However, the Giants would battle back and take a 10-7 halftime lead. Davis and Smith would be the magic combo again in the third quarter as the 49ers held a 14-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter. However, a muffed punt by Kyle Williams, playing for an injured Ted Ginn Jr. allowed the Giants to regain the lead. The 49ers would answer with a field goal by David Akers as the game went to overtime tied 17-17. However, in overtime Kyle Williams would botch another punt as the Giants won the game 20-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVI.
2012: After losing a NFC Championship heartbreaker to the New York Giants in overtime, the 49ers looked to improve themselves by signing a pair of players away from the Super Bowl Champs, Mario Mannigham and Brandon Jacobs. Starting the season on the road in Lambeau Field, the 49ers got off to an impressive start beating the Green Bay Packers 30-22. The 49ers also put forth a solid effort in their home opener, as they beat the Detroit Lions 27-19 on Sunday Night Football. After suffering a letdown on the road against the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers dominated the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills, winning by a combined score of 79-3. However, they could not keep their momentum going as they struggled all day at home in their rematch with the Giants, losing the game 26-3. Their offense was stagnant four days later in a Thursday Night tilt against the Seattle Seahawks. However, the 49ers defense would keep the Seahawks in check as the 49ers rallied to win the game 13-6. Following an easy road win over the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers came out flat against the St. Louis Rams, at Candlestick Park trailing 14-0 early as Quarterback Alex Smith was sidelined in the 2nd Quarter with a concussion. However backup Colin Kaepernick would come in and rally the 49ers to a 24-24 tie at the end of three quarters. That would end being the final score as both teams missed several scoring chances in regulation and overtime. It would be the first game in the NFL to end in a tie in five years and the first 49ers-Rams game to have no winner since 1968. A week later on Monday Night Football in a battle of backup quarterbacks, Colin Kaepernick would show what he could do on the field, completing16 of 23 for 246 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 32-7 win against a strong Bears. Despite Alex Smith, who led the NFL in Quarterback rating being cleared to play, Coach Jim Harbaugh named Kaepernick the starter in Week 12 as 49ers faced the New Orleans Saints on the road. Kaepernick again was impressive scoring a TD with his arm and his legs as the 49ers defense returned to interceptions off Drew Brees in a 31-21 win at the Superdome. In the 49ers rematch with the Rams, Kaepernick had his first stumble as a fumble and safety helped the Rams stay in the game. The Rams would end up tying the game at the end of regulation and winning in overtime on a pair of 50 plus yard field goals by Greg Zuerlein. Following a 27-13 home win over the Miami Dolphins, Colin Kaepernick again showed why Coach Harbaugh kept in at quarterback as he helped the 49ers build a 31-3 lead over the New England Patriots at Foxboro in a Sunday Night showdown between division leaders. However, the Patriots would rally with four straight Touchdown drives to tie the game 31-31. Kaepernick and the 49ers would get back on track with a 38 yard Touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree as the Niners improved to 10-3-1 with a 41-34 win. In primetime again a week later the 49ers continued their pattern of losing or tying every third week as they suffered a 42-13 loss to a red hot Seahawks team. However, they would rebound to beat the Cardinals a week later 27-13 to win the NFC West and earn a first week playoff bye with a record of 11-4-1.
2012 Playoffs: Colin Kaepernick remained the starter as the 49ers hosted the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Playoff round. Under the bright lights of the playoffs Kaepernick once and for all showed that he was the right quarterback for the 49ers as he had one of the best postseason games in NFL history, leading the 49ers to a 45-31 win over the Packers. The Packers had no solution for Kaepernick who after having an early pass picked off and returned 52 yards for a Touchdown was unstoppable, passing for 257 yards with two touchdowns as well as rushing for 181 yards with two touchdowns. The highlight of Kaepernick's night was a dazzling 56 yard Touchdown run in the 3rd Quarter that gave the Red and Gold the lead for good at 31-24. Kaepernick would than show off his arm with a 44 yard pass to Vernon Davis, which set up Frank Gore's two yard score on the first play of the 4th Quarter to all but seal the win. In the NFC Championship Game the 49ers would face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, entering the game a slight favorite despite being on the road. Early on it was the Falcons who dominated the game, quickly jumping out to a 17-0 lead, early in the 2nd Quarter. The 49ers would blunt the Falcons momentum scoring two twice to cut the deficit to 17-14, but with Tony Gonzalez scoring off a 1 yard pass from Matt Ryan, the Falcons had taken back the edge 24-14 at the half. Receiving the ball in the second half the 49ers drove the ball 82 yards and got back with in a Field Goal on a five yard score from Frank Gore. Late in the 3rd Quarter the 49ers appeared to be driving for the lead, before Michael Crabtree was stripped at the one yard line. The fumble would only momentarily hurt the 49ers chances as their defense trapped the Falcons deep in their own territory. On the ensuing punt the 49ers got the ball at the Falcons 38 after a 20 yard punt return from Ted Ginn Jr. Again it would be Frank Gore with a Touchdown as his nine yard run gave the Niners the lead 28-24. The Falcons would not go down quietly driving the ball to the 49ers 13 late in the game. However, two straight incompletions gave them back the ball with 1:13 left. Unable to run out the clock, the 49ers would need one more stop to reach the Super Bowl, as Julio Jones was tackled at the 35 as time expired.
Super Bowl XLVII: The 49ers in the Super Bowl for the six-time were matched up against the Baltimore Ravens at Superdome in New Orleans. The game was a family affair as Coach Jim Harbaugh was facing his older brother John Harbaugh, coach of the Ravens. While the Harbaugh Bowl had center stage, the 49ers quarterback future was one of the distractions that often come with Super Bowl week, with silly remarks made over Colin Kaepernick's tattoos, while Alex Smith who had been quiet about his benching made clear his desire to leave the 49ers with Kaepernick clearly established as the starter. Early on it was all Ravens, as they raced out 21-6 halftime lead. Things would get worse after Beyone's halftime show, as Jacoby Jones returned the second half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown. The run nearly blew the roof off the Superdome, but moments later it would be a power failure that would help settle down the 49ers. A overloaded circuit was the cause as half the dome lost power, the Ravens up 28-6 were anxious to finish the game tasting victory, while the 49ers took a breath and refocused and began a comeback, scoring 17 points to get back into the game before the end of the 3rd Quarter. The Ravens would rebound with a Field Goal in the 4th Quarter, but the 49ers kept surging as Colin Kaepernick scored on a 15 yard bootleg. Needing a two point conversion to tie the game, Kaepernick's pass fell incomplete as the Ravens maintained a 31-29 lead. The Ravens would get another field goal, as the 49ers continued their second half charge, driving the ball deep into Ravens territory as they had the ball first and goal at the seven yard line in the final two minutes. However, as LaMichael James took the ball down to the two yard line, Kaepernick threw three incomplete passes as the Ravens held their lead. Punter Sam Koch would take a deliberate safety to milk the clock, as the game ended with a free kick Ted Ginn Jr was tackled at midfield as time expired with Ravens winning the Super Bowl 34-31.
©MMXIV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the San Francisco 49ers or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only.
All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 22 , 2002. Last updated on January 19, 2014 at 11:15 pm ET.
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