Reading in chronological order through the sports page headlines from the San Francisco Chronicle for the Niners’ 1981 season shows how the newspaper turned from initially expecting another poor 49er season to disbelief over their success in October especially, as they steamrolled the Cowboys and squeaked by the Rams, and then tentative affirmation of the 49ers’ new status as a burgeoning dynasty, as things would turn out:
A Familiar Pattern: Errors Kill S.F., 24-17
49ers Turn It Around, Beat the Bears, 28-17
A Falcon Runaway, 34-17
Botched Plays Aid S.F., 21-14
49er Defense Keys 30-17 Blitz of ‘Skins
49ers On a Rampage! Cowboys Fall, 45-14
Impressive 49ers Alone at the Top
This Is Serious! 49ers Beat L.A.
It Seems The 49ers Can’t Lose
49ers Lead West by Three Hicks’ Big Play Saves 8th Win
49ers Are Back Down to Earth
49ers Win, Close In on Title
49ers Beat Giants, Win Title
Walsh’s Revenge; Now Who’s No. 1?
49ers Roll Over Oilers, 28-6
49ers Finish 13-3; Now Who’s Next?
N.Y. Coach: Cowboys Are Better Team
S.F. Wins Thriller-Dramatic Pass Beats Dallas (Front page of the Chronicle)
A SUPER FINISH (Front page of the sports section)
Victory-The City Goes Wild (Front page of the Chronicle)