49ers Make Statement in Win over Chicago

Sep 10, 2003 at 12:00 AM


With 11 minutes left in the game in Detroit, a Jason Hanson PAT helped the Lions finished off a 42-24 win over the Cardinals, giving Steve Mariucci his first win as Lions head coach. Three hours later, the 49ers proved they could do their old coach one touchdown better.

In an impressive display of offensive, defensive and special teams' dominance, the 49ers blew out the Chicago Bears 49-7 on Sunday. With new formations and a new attitude, San Francisco scored 23 points in the final six minutes to break the game open and headed into the locker room with a 33-7 lead, their biggest first half output in more than a decade.

"To be honest, you can't ask for a better start," Erickson said. "We blitzed a lot, we came after them … and everybody did their job. It was a great team effort."

However, a 26 point lead was not enough for Erickson's 49ers. Despite an insurmountable lead, the 49ers kept their starters in the game until midway through the 4th quarter. The result was a 49-point laugher, a fitting number for Erickson in his inaugural game in San Francisco.

It was a profound statement to the rest of the league that the 49ers have no intention of laying down under new coach Dennis Erickson. The difference between last year and this year was strongly evident right before the half.

With 25 seconds left in the half, Jimmy Williams intercepted a Kordell Stewart pass and gave the 49ers the ball at the Bears' 37 yard line. Instead of taking a knee and heading to the locker room, like the 49ers did in last years' loss to Tampa Bay in the playoffs, Erickson went for the jugular. The result was three more points on the board, a small effect on the outcome of the game, but a significant statement to the 49ers players, organization and fans that this was a new team.

"We are getting back to what we used to do in the past, like when I first arrived here in 1992," Derrick Deese said.

Every aspect of the team showed improvement. The special teams blocked a punt and recovered a fumble on a return to set up two touchdowns. The defense scored on an interception return by Ahmed Plummer. The offense scored four touchdowns and accumulated almost 400 yards in the game. Even Erickson was in top shape, racing down the sidelines with Plummer as the corner shut the door on any of the Chicago's hopes of a comeback. It was a performance that was reminiscent of the Super Bowl teams of the 80's.

"Your first game you just try to go out there and execute the offense," Owens said. "We wanted to get the season off on the right foot and we did that. We took advantage of what they gave us."

A final sign that the Mariucci era had finally ended occurred in the locker room after the game. Terrell Owens and defensive coordinator Jim Mora Jr. presented the game ball to Erickson. Praise from Owens, who was never Mariucci's biggest fan, is perhaps the biggest compliment for Erickson.

The blowout was the perfect confidence booster for the 49ers, who are heading into one of the biggest games of the year next week in St. Louis.

The 49ers have lost seven of their last eight games against the Rams, and haven't won at St. Louis since 1998. The 49-7 win over Chicago was the largest margin of victory for the 49ers since December 19, 1992. Who did they defeat that day? Mariucci's new team, the Lions, 55-17.

* quotes taken from Espn.com, Foxsports.com wire reports and the Press Democrat
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Brooks: Trey Lance could make 49ers offense 'nearly indefensible'

By David Bonilla
May 7, 2021

San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York recently told NBC Sports Bay Area that there is no rush to get rookie quarterback Trey Lance, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, onto the football field. That's why the team held onto Jimmy Garoppolo, who has two years remaining on his contract. York didn't guarantee that Garoppolo would play out that contract in its entirety with the 49ers. But if that's what it took to eventually get the most out of Lance, allowing the young quarterback the luxury of sitting and learning, then ownership is willing to pay Garoppolo for that privilege. RELATED:



49ers CB Ambry Thomas confident his skills will pay the California bills, eager to make NFL debut in hometown of Detroit

By Kirk Larrabee
May 12, 2021

One thing is abundantly clear so far about 49ers rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas -- he's in no danger of falling short on confidence. Thomas, who was selected by the 49ers in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan, spoke with reporters Wednesday, two days before the 49ers kick off their rookie minicamp in Santa Clara. His confidence was on display throughout the media session, particularly after being asked about what he thought regarding the increased cost of living that will come from moving to the Bay Area from the Midwest. "Immediately once I got the phone call (during the draft), I was happy, excited. And I thought about everything," Thomas said. "California, the taxes, and I started thinking about all that -- the cost of



Former 49ers GM likes Trey Lance over Zach Wilson

By David Bonilla
May 5, 2021

Scot McCloughan spent two seasons as the San Francisco 49ers general manager, helping build the roster eventually taken over by Trent Baalke and Jim Harbaugh. Before that, he was the team's VP of personnel. Matt Barrows of The Athletic spoke with McCloughan to get his opinion of his former team's most recent draft class. While his pre-draft grades had Zach Wilson, whom the New York Jets selected at No. 2, rated higher than Trey Lance, the 49ers' pick, McCloughan would have personally selected Lance over Wilson. He wouldn't have, however, traded two future first-round picks to move up to get him. The inexperience at North Dakota State and the level of competition created too many unknowns. But personally, he still liked Lance more than



49ers to travel over 28,000 miles in 2021, most in the NFL

By David Bonilla
May 13, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers are set to travel over 28,000 round-trip miles between cities to face the opponents on the team's 2021 schedule. That ranks as the most travel distance among NFL teams, per ESPN Sports Analytics. pic.twitter.com/u223tCVwtx— Brian Burke (@bburkeESPN) May 13,


Featured

More by Matt Faust

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone