Tuesday, January 15, 2013

49ers: NFC Championship Game History

The San Francisco 49ers are about to play in their 14th NFC Championship.  Its their 2nd straight NFC Championship game, the first time they have played in consecutive NFL semifinals since they played in 3 straight from 1992-94.  In fact, of the 14 times the 49ers have made it, only twice (1981, 1997) did they make the NFC Championship without playing it in the year before or reaching it the year after.  Since the playoffs take place in the following calendar year, we'll denote each 49ers appearance by the regular season's calendar year.  ( For instance, the 49ers are about to play in the 2012 NFC Championship).  The years in which the 49ers were victorious are in bold.

Dallas Cowboys 17 - SF 49ers 10
Kezar Stadium (SF)

Dallas Cowboys 14 - SF 49ers 3
Texas Stadium

SF 49ers 28 - Dallas Cowboys 27
Candlestick Park

Washington Redskins 24 - SF 49ers 21
RFK Stadium

SF 49ers 23 - Chicago Bears 0
Candlestick Park

SF 49ers 28 - Chicago Bears 3
Soldier Field

SF 49ers 30 - Los Angeles Rams 3
Candlestick Park

New York Giants 15 - SF 49ers 13
Candlestick Park

Dallas Cowboys 30 - SF 49ers 20
Candlestick Park

Dallas Cowboys 38 - SF 49ers 21
Texas Stadium

SF 49ers 38 - Dallas Cowboys 28
Candlestick Park

Green Bay Packers 23 - SF 49ers 10
Candlestick Park

New York Giants 20 - SF 49ers 17
Candlestick Park

SF 49ers v Atlanta Falcons
Georgia Dome

Random Observations:

- In our 13 previous conference championship games, we have won 5 and lost 8.  Starting with the Walsh dynasty, which is really the 49ers that I know, they've actually been 5-6.  From 1990 on, we've been 1-5.

- From 1981 to 1997, we played in 10 of the 17 NFC Championship games.  Considering our sustained excellence over 17 years, the fact that there was a 13 year absence is quite sad.

- We went on to win the Superbowl after each of our 5 NFC Championship victories.

- SF will be tied with Dallas in appearances with 14, but 7 of theirs were before 1980.  They are 8-6 overall and they also haven't made it since 1995.

- Of the 13 previous games, we've played Dallas 6 times, more than any other team, winning only twice.

- The 49ers have hosted 9 NFC Championships, far and away the most by any team.  Dallas and Washington have each hosted 5.

- Our record at home in this game is 4-5.  (4-4 at Candlestick Park since our 1st NFC champ game was played at Kezar Stadium.)

- The 1981 game against Dallas featured Montana-Clark's "The Catch", which jump-started the Walsh dynasty.

- The sweetest NFC championship win was the 1994 game over Dallas.  It was the 3rd consecutive meeting between these rivals in the NFC Championship, with SF coming up short both times before in '93 and '92.  The 49ers also disappointingly missed the '91 playoffs (even with a 10 win season).  As for 1990....  

- The most bitter NFC championship loss may have been the 1990 game where our hopes of an unprecedented Superbowl 3-peat was abruptly ended by the Giants in a 2 point loss.  This was the last playoff game Montana played for the 49ers.

- The 1997 loss to GB was just about as painful because the Packers had ended our postseason 3 consecutive years ('95, '96, '97 - which is clearly why TO's '98 "The Catch II" to beat the Packers was so cathartic).  If anyone was writing the storybook properly, we were supposed to finally prevail in 1997 (or at least in '98) and win the SB, just as the '94 49ers defeated the Cowboys on the 3rd try.

- Our record on the road is only 1-3, with our lone victory coming at Soldier Field in 1988.  We lost at Texas Stadium twice and RFK once.

- Atlanta has played in this game twice before - beating the Vikings in '98 (30-27) and losing to the Eagles (27-10) in '04.  The Falcons were on the road both times so this is the first time Atlanta will host the NFC Championship.

- The first and only time the 49ers played the Falcons in the postseason was in the 1998 playoffs where the Falcons beat SF 20-18 in the Georgia Dome.  It was the last playoff game for Steve Young.  Ironically, SF had also just beaten the Packers to advance.

No comments:

Post a Comment