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Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco 49ers’
The 49ers played their most significant game vs. the Atlanta Falcons ever in the 2013 NFC title game. The two teams were in the NFC West from 1970 through 2001, but in the years of the 49ers dynasty, the Falcons were rarely much of a rival: in the ’80s and ’90s, with the Saints and Falcons both far away and usually not very good, the 49ers’ main divisional rivalry was with the L.A. Rams. This post covers a few dramatic points in the three decades when the 49ers and Falcons were in the same division.
1983: In Atlanta, Steve Bartkowski threw a 47-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Billy “White Shoes” Johnson on the final play of the game to give the Falcons a 28-24 win over the 49ers. Video at NFL.com.
1988: The 49ers were stunned by the Falcons in the third game of the season, losing 34-17 at Candlestick. Montana threw three interceptions, one of them returned for a touchdown. The 49ers, after winning the season’s first two games on the road, began a nine-game stretch in which they went 4-5, nearly keeping them out of the playoffs.
1991: The Falcons beat the 49ers in both games, helping keep S.F. out of the playoffs despite a 10-6 record. The Falcons also went 10-6, but made the playoffs instead of the 49ers because of a tie-breaker. Deion Sanders got into a brief fight with, I believe, Jerry Rice in the game at Atlanta (but I could be wrong). The Falcons, with Sanders and Andre Rison, had a new attitude and cockiness, and briefly it looked like the two teams might be rivals well into the ’90s, but the rivalry sputtered because Atlanta went back to sub-.500 seasons in following years.
1998: The two teams played their only playoff game before 2013 after this regular season. A week after Steve Young’s last-second touchdown to Terrell Owens to beat the Packers at Candlestick, the 49ers lost in Atlanta, 20-18, on January 9, 1999. In the next few years, both teams did poorly, and after 2002, when the 49ers and Falcons lost on the road in the division round, it would take until 2011 and 2012 for both of them to make the playoffs.
All of these games are 49er losses, which reflects them usually beating the Falcons during the ’80s and ’90s: the losses are more memorable because they were less frequent. Perhaps the most memorable 49er win over the Falcons before 2013 is the 1990 game in which Jerry Rice caught five touchdowns from Joe Montana, tying the NFL record.
Here are some lists showing the cumulative scoring by quarter for the 49ers 15 playoff games in the 5 seasons in which they’ve won the Super Bowl.
For all three 1981 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 92 points in the 3 games, and their opponents scored 72 points.
For all three 1984 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 82 points in the 3 games, and their opponents scored 26 points, none of them in the second half.
For all three 1988 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 82 points in the 3 games, and their opponents scored 28, including only 12 in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th quarter combined.
For all three 1989 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 126 points in the 3 games, and their opponents scored 26 points.
For all 3 1994 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 131 points in the 3 games, and their opponents scored 69 points.
Here’s the cumulative scoring by quarter for all 15 playoff games:
The 49ers scored 513 points in the 15 playoff games, and their opponents scored 221 points.
In the 1989 through 1996 seasons, the 49ers went 108-35. This includes the Niners’ 15 playoff games during the 8-year span. The 49ers scored 3900 points in the 143 games; the opposition scored 2329 points. This works out to an average of exactly 27.27 points per game for the 49ers, 16.3 points per game for the opposition.
In their 108 wins, the 49ers scored 3332 points, or 30.85 per game, and their opposition scored 1523 points, or 14.1 per game.
In their 35 losses, the 49ers scored 568 points, or 16.2 per game, and their opposition scored 806 points, or 23 per game.
During these years, the 49ers gave up as many as 40 points in a game once, to Philadelphia in 1994, the game that preceded the 49ers winning 13 of 14 games to close the season and win the Super Bowl. The Niners allowed 35 to 39 points four times. They scored 40+ points 23 times. They scored 50+ points in a game five times, most famously in the 1990 Super Bowl vs. Denver.
You can compare the performance of the Seifert-coached 49ers to the performance of the Walsh-coached 49ers, with the clear caveat that Seifert had the advantage of inheriting a Super Bowl winner instead of a team that had just gone 2-14 and hadn’t made the playoffs in six years.
Here’s what the San Francisco Chronicle had to say about the 49ers’ first and third picks in the 1985 NFL draft, which started on April 30:
JERRY RICE, WR, Mississippi Valley State, 6-2, 203. Rice’s college statistics border on the phenomenal. He caught more than 300 passes for nearly 5000 yards in four seasons. The Southwestern Athletic Conference, with schools like Southern and Grambling, has been a productive source of NFL talent, but Rice is 49ers’ first draft pick from there since 1980, when they selected DL Ken Times and DB Herb Williams, both from Southern U., in fifth and sixth rounds. Neither made the team. He is first receiver taken by the 49ers in the first round since Terry Beasley, a bust, in 1972. 1st round, 16th player selected.
BRUCE COLLIE, OT, Texas-Arlington, 6-5 1/2, 275. He’s the kind of player 49ers’ OL coach Bobb McKittrick likes – a quick, agile, high-intensity, almost nasty man who dominated on a small-college level and can be developed with time into an NFL pass blocker. In college, Collie wasn’t called on to pass protect. McKittrick compares Collie’s intensity level with that of Guy McIntyre, last year’s rookie guard who likes to hit anything that moves. Collie has a big scar across his stomach – he was knifed once rescuing a girl from an attacker. Collie, born in West Germany, is the son of an Army doctor. 5th round, 140th player.