Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports


CBS Sports names the greatest win in 49ers history

Feb 27, 2021 at 5:46 PM--


This week, Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports went through the task of naming the greatest win for each NFL franchise. The pick for the San Francisco 49ers shouldn't come as a surprise. It featured an iconic play that launched a dynasty — The Catch.

"Trailing by six points, the 49ers needed to travel 89 yards in less than five minutes against Dallas' 'Doomsday' defense," DeArdo said in his recount of the 1981 NFC Championship Game, which was played on January 10, 1982. "Instead of looking for the big play, the 49ers relied on several sweeping runs by Lenvil Elliott, two clutch catches by Freddie Solomon and a 14-yard run by Solomon on a reverse. Facing a third down on the Cowboys' six-yard line, Joe Montana rolled right, avoided the Cowboys' pass rush and threw the ball to a spot in the end zone where he hoped receiver Dwight Clark would be. Clark, who was predictably in the right spot, jumped in the air and snared in Montana's pass."

San Francisco beat Dallas 28-27 and went on to win its first of five Super Bowl championships. The matchup ranked No. 2 on the NFL Top 100 Games list, behind only the 1958 NFL Championship between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants.


"The 49ers' defense still had to stop the Cowboys' offense, who got the ball back at their 25-yard line with two timeouts and 51 seconds left," added DeArdo. "The crowd got tense after Danny White hit Drew Pearson for 31 yards on the Cowboys' first play. But on the next play, White lost the ball after getting hit by Lawrence Pillers. The ball was scooped up by Jim Stuckey, who in his arms held the 49ers' first Super Bowl ticket."

Click here to watch the 1981 NFC Championship Game in its entirety on YouTube.

DeArdo named the 49ers' 20-16 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XXIII as the runner-up for the Bay Area franchise.

The 49ers were also mentioned elsewhere on the list, but as the losing team in another franchise's greatest win. DeArdo named San Francisco's Super Bowl LIV defeat as the best victory in Kansas City Chiefs history.





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