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Potential 49ers Super Bowls that never happened.

the pre-season expectations make 91 worse.
Nothing tops the loss to the Giants in 1991. That loss scarred me for years. It was pretty much an end of an era for a lot of the 80's legends in a 49er uniform. The course of events from Montana's injury until Bahr's game winning field goal felt like a damn nightmare.
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Dallas 92 because it was so unexpected. That was the year Young was finally going to get over the hump, we had the best record, at home, against a team that was really young and unproven.
I know this is before many of you Zoners were probably born but the very first year I began following the Niners was 1970. I was 11 years old. The team had just won their first division championship and then beat the heavily favored Minnesota Vikings on the road in icy conditions in the first playoff game. They then faced Dallas in the very first NFC Championship Game (held at Kezar Stadium...the last NFL game ever played there).

The game last night reminded me very much of that Dallas game. Dallas seemingly got every break that day, including a critical non-call on an obvious pass interference penalty on a 4th down which essentially ended the game and another non PI call in the end zone that would have given the Niners a first down at the one yard line. Even aside from those plays, there were several others that didn't go their way, including a play where a wide-open 49er RB lost a sure TD pass in the sun. The final score was 17-10. Up until that point, Dallas was a team that "couldn't win the big one"....but they just seemed destined or fated to win that day...

That one hurt so badly because the Niners were truly a great team that year. They were the best team in the league that year on offense, led by QB John Brodie and WR Gene Washington. Their defense had 2 HOFers on it (CB Jimmy Johnson and LB Dave Wilcox) and a seriously talented DL led by Cedric Hardman (a rookie sack artist very much like Aldon Smith), Tommy Hart, and Earl Edwards. If they had won that Dallas game, they would have won it all because the Colts (the champ that year) were flawed, especially on offense. It just wasn't in the cards though.

For all of the success that this franchise has had over the years, it has also had more than its share of heart-wrenching, luckless defeats as well.

The 49ers lost a playoff game at Kezar in 1957 after leading at halftime 24-7. If they had won that day (and they were loaded that year with exceptional talent), they would have played for the NFL Championship.

...and please....no one can tell me that 1990 Giants team was better than the Niners that year. The play on which Joe Montana was hurt in that game was a cheap shot by a Giant DLman (a type of tackle that used to be called "spearing"). Had Joe had perhaps a half second longer to throw, he would have hit a wide open Jerry Rice down the near sideline and the Niners probably score....or come close anyway....and game over. Roger Craig (God bless him) rarely fumbled in those days, particularly in the playoffs)... Just wasn't meant to be.

The '91 team won 6 straight games to end the season with Steve Bono at QB (because both Young and Montana were hurt), and were widely thought of as the best team in the league at the end of the year....but they didn't even make the playoffs because they lost a game in Atlanta early in the season on a joke of a Hail Mary pass play in which 3 Atlanta receivers were 3-5 yards offside when the ball was snapped and there was no call.

The '83, '87, '92 and '98 teams have already been mentioned and those playoff losses were particularly painful.

Let's just hope that this loss just makes this team very pissed off....and gives them the juice necessary to take out the whole league next season...
[ Edited by nw9erfan on Jan 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM ]
Originally posted by linkboy:
It's 91, hands down.

Nothing can top that. That was our three-peat. Everything was setup for the 49ers to make history and it all came crashing down on 3 plays

Montana getting drilled
Craig's fumble
The FG to win the game

...and the play that resulted in Montana getting "speared" (a classic cheap shot if there ever was one)....had he had another second, he would have hit a wide open Rice down the near sideline for a big gain and a possible TD... Just wasn't meant to be that day...

Just one question.....why do the NY Giants have all this good karma in the playoffs?
Originally posted by Joecool:
This is the worst loss. Not easy to get here in this era. We lucked out by getting a home game. Who knows, next year we may need to beat an improved PHI, GB, or New Orleans.

Bring 'em on.... Imagine how sweet it will be when the Niners are the ones beating a favored team on the road in the playoffs. I can't wait.
Originally posted by nw9erfan:
Originally posted by Joecool:
This is the worst loss. Not easy to get here in this era. We lucked out by getting a home game. Who knows, next year we may need to beat an improved PHI, GB, or New Orleans.

Bring 'em on.... Imagine how sweet it will be when the Niners are the ones beating a favored team on the road in the playoffs. I can't wait.

i aint scared!!!
Since I was too young to remember anything before the mid 90s I would say this was definitely the most painful. I do remember that 98 game tho I was 11. I was too young to understand the significance.
91 probably is the right call.

But this one was really horrendous. We fumble not once but 2 times deep in our own territory on punt returns. Unreal... Our defense gave up 10 legitimate points. 10. We had the NFC Championship game at home and played well overall minus special teams. Even despite the 3rd down conversions we could have won and should have won this game. We could be in the Super Bowl. These opportunities don't come around that often. We won 13 games, the Packers lost and hosted the NFC Championship. You gotta take advantage of opportunites like that. It just makes me sick still....
Originally posted by captveg:
1990 easily. Best team on the poll that lost.

This year even with the loss they exceeded expectations.

this
1990 was the worst home loss.

The worst NFC Championship game I remember wasn't a home game. It was in Washington in '84 after the '83 season. They fell behind by 21 and trailed all game until the 4th quarter. Montana led 3 TD drives in the 4th quarter to tie the game only to have the refs give the game to the Redskins right at the end on 2 terrible pass interference calls on Eric Wright and Ronnie Lott. I'm still pissed about that game almost 30 years later.
With a third of the vote going to yesterday's game, this thread sure kicks the wisdom of crowds thesis in the tender parts.
Originally posted by Dr_Bill_Walsh:
^

I hope this loss sticks in JH's craw all offseason and he makes the rest of the NFL pay next season...

Me too!
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I'm taking this loss very badly...can't even watch espn or nfl network. Usually in the morning I listen to espn radio on the way to work but didn't even turn on the radio this morning. Might even skip out on the super bowl all together. this loss hurts...we were so close and who knows when we'll get the chance again. Sucks...
i dont remember the other ones too well but this was a game we couldve easily won. we didnt get that fumble call, and the two fumbles that gave them 10 points and it still took em 7 minutes of overtime to beat us. we should have won this one for sure.