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49ers Playoff Chances: Will San Francisco Emulate 1990 Team of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice?

The San Francisco 49ers’ 31-Three thrashing of the Cleveland Browns on Monday Night Football was a major second.

It wasn’t simply the truth that Cleveland’s hype bubble burst but once more or that Baker Mayfield endured his worst sport since turning professional, throwing two interceptions and finishing simply eight of his 22 passes.

It was the truth that the win was the 49ers’ fourth in as many video games, marking their first 4-Zero begin since 1990, once they raced to a 10-Zero begin led by Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.

Back then, San Francisco entered the season as heavy favourite to win a 3rd consecutive Super Bowl and with a roster stacked with expertise that included 5 Pro-Bowl alternatives and 7 All-Pros.

The 49ers reached the playoffs with a 14-2 report, successful a fifth consecutive NFC West title within the course of and defeated the Washington Redskins within the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

Their bid for a 3rd consecutive Super Bowl, nevertheless, was halted by the New York Giants within the NFC Championship Game after New York Giants kicker Matt Bahr landed a 42-yard area aim as time expired to stun the followers at Candlestick Park.

San Francisco’s successful run—which stretched to 15 video games relationship again to the earlier season—got here undone in Week 12, with a 28-17 defeat at dwelling in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams.

Incidentally, the Rams are the 49ers’ subsequent opponent, with the 2 NFC West rivals set to lock horns in Los Angeles on Sunday in a doubtlessly essential divisional matchup for each groups.

Comparing San Francisco’s present crop to the 1990 classic is an train bordering on ridiculous. With the win over the Browns, Jimmy Garoppolo turned solely the sixth quarterback since 1990 to win 12 of his first 14 dwelling begins within the NFL, however he is clearly no Montana and not one of the 49ers receivers even comes near being in the identical bracket as Rice.

By 1990 the 49ers had gained three Super Bowls in six seasons and two in a row, whereas they’re now trying to find a primary playoff look since 2013.

All the identical, optimism within the Bay Area is way from unfounded. Along with the 5-0 New England Patriots, San Francisco is the one crew nonetheless undefeated within the NFL. The 49ers’ 4 wins to date have been no fluke, however have come on the again of a really parsimonious protection and nicely balanced offense.

San Francisco boasts the second-best protection within the league after the Patriots and ranks fourth in complete offense—at a mean of 427.2 yards per sport—and first in speeding offense—at a clip of 200 yards on the bottom per sport.

49ers Playoff Chances: Will San Francisco Emulate 1990 Team of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice?
George Kittle #85 and Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers have a good time after Kittle caught a landing move in opposition to the Cleveland Browns in the course of the third quarter of an NFL soccer sport at Levi’s Stadium on October 7 in Santa Clara, California. The 49ers gained the sport 31-3. Thearon W. Henderson/Getty

At 4-0, the 49ers lead the NFC West, with the Seattle Seahawks at 4-1 and the Rams at 3-2.

San Francisco started the season as a 5/1 shot to win a primary NFC West title since 2012 however is now a 7/5 favourite, forward of the Seahawks and the Rams.

The Seahawks are 4-1 for less than the second time in a decade and for the primary time since 2016, once they final gained the divisional title, whereas Los Angeles has stuttered to date.

Both groups have a barely simpler schedule than the 49ers. San Francisco faces three highway video games within the subsequent 4 weeks, with a house in opposition to the Carolina Panthers sandwiched between journeys to Los Angeles, Washington and Arizona. The latter two video games are eminently winnable as they arrive in opposition to groups which are presently 0-5 and 1-3.

A 3-game dwelling stand in opposition to the Seahawks, Cardinals and Packers awaits after the journey to Arizona, earlier than testing journeys to Baltimore and New Orleans. Back-to-back dwelling video games in opposition to Atlanta and the Rams precede the ultimate sport of the season on the highway in Seattle.

The final two matchups may nicely resolve whether or not Levi’s Stadium hosts playoff soccer this season however for now the 49ers can get together as if it was 1990.

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