Thursday, January 2, 2014

49ers Wildcard History

Since 1978 when the NFL implemented the initial Wildcard round, the 49ers have played just 5 wildcard games, winning 3 of them.  It is worth noting that they have made the playoffs 21 times (including this year) during this wildcard age, but have only been forced to play the opening weekend 6 times.  The most memorable is the cathartic 1998 "The Catch II" game, when Young and TO ended the Packer dominance.  Also notable was the 2002 game with NY in which the 9ers scored the last 25 points to snatch a comeback win.  Its interesting that of these 6 games, we will have faced the Giants twice and the Packers 3 times.

49ers' Wildcard Games

1985 - SF at NY Giants - Lost 17-3

1996 - Philadelphia Eagles at SF - Won 14-0

1998 - Green Bay Packers at SF - Won 30-27 - TO's "The Catch II"

2001 - SF at Green Bay Packers - Lost 25-15

2002 - NY Giants at SF - Won 39-38 - 25 straight points in comeback W.

2013 - SF at Green Bay Packers

Wildcard teams that won Superbowl 

I was curious to know how many wildcard teams have ever won a Superbowl.  The answer is that in the 34 seasons from 1978-2012, only wildcard 6 teams have won it (out of 10 who even reached the SB).  Interestingly, there were only 3 wildcard champs from '78-'04 (26 years) but then 3 occurred in a 6 year span.  To make matters worse, only 3 of those wildcard teams played all conference games on the road.  By happenstance, they are the recent 3 teams as well.  You better believe I'll latch onto that glimmer of hope.

1980 Raiders - played wildcard game at home.
1998 Broncos- played wildcard game at home.
2000 Ravens- played wildcard game at home.
2005 Steelers - played all 3 conference games on road.
2007 Giants - played all 3 conference games on road.
2010 Packers - played all 3 conference games on road.

Playoff History vs Packers
Since we're playing GB again, here's our playoff history against them.

1995 Divisional Round - Lost 27-17 in Candlestick - Down 21-0.
1996 Divisional Round - Lost 35-14 at Lambeau - Down 21-0 to start again.
1997 Conference Round - Lost 23-10 in Candlestick - Down 23-3 before late kick return.
1998 Wild Card Round - Won 30-27 in Candlestick - TO's "The Catch II".
2001 Wild Card Round - Lost 25-15 at Lambeau - GB scores last 10 points.
2012 Divisional Round - Won 45-31 in Candlestick - Kaep's 181 rush yards is QB playoff record.
2013 Wild Card Round - at Lambeau

I'm still ticked that the 49ers won 12 games (more than last season!) and has to travel to an 8-win Packer team.  On Sunday, we were a Seattle loss away from a 1st round bye and 1 home game, but now we have to travel for 3 straight games to make the Superbowl.  That variation shouldn't be so extreme.  Winning your division should guarantee a playoff spot, but not necessarily a home game.  Now that they have Rodgers back, they are extremely dangerous, especially in the confines of freezing Lambeau.  Things are just not going the 9ers way this season.

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