One of my all-time faves was 49ers v. Broncos on MNF in 1997.
The '97 squad had all the familiar 49er offensive firepower; but what made the team truly special was the defense, #1 in all of football that year.
This was Mariucci's first year as HC. Rice shredded his knee in the opener on an illegal face mask tackle by Bucs defender Warren Sapp. Heavy favorites, the 49ers lost that game. They then went 12-1 over a 13 game span to set up a meeting with the 11-3 Denver Broncos.
Jerry Rice of course returned and starred making spectacular catches including a 14 yard touchdown. Joe Montana's jersey was retired at halftime. The defense cemented a 34-17 victory with long 2nd half TDs on a pick-six from Merton Hanks (yes he danced the funky chicken) and Kevin Greene's scoop and score fumble recovery after an Elway sack. The 49ers clinched homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.
The 49ers awoke the next day to the news that Rice was done for the season with another knee injury. Injuries would do them in as Hearst also was injured for the playoffs. The 49ers only managed 3 points on offense in a championship game loss to the Packers. But on that night, on MNF, the 49ers beat the eventual Super Bowl champs that year, and beat them soundly.