The San Francisco 49ers recovering after blowing a late lead against the Cincinnati Bengals was another step in the right direction for the legendary franchise.
The 49ers have now won five straight and are back in the playoff race for the NFC. While San Francisco is still far from a favorite, the 49ers are +3300 to win the Super Bowl according to NFL Lines, it is showing signs of life.
While San Francisco did make an appearance in the Super Bowl two years ago, the time since it last won the championship with a 49-26 win over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX hasn’t been kind to a franchise that dominated the 1980s and the early part of the 1990s.
The 49ers have been searching for a replacement for Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young since he retired in 1999. Lacking a franchise quarterback has doomed the team, which has had several strong teams fall short of winning the Super Bowl.
Return to Playoffs Ends in Heartbreak
The 2011 49ers were on the upward swing. Head coach Jim Harbaugh took a San Francisco team quarterbacked by former No. 1 pick Alex Smith that hadn’t been to the playoffs in eight years to the NFC Championship game. San Francisco took a 14-10 lead over the underdog Giants when Vernon Davis caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Smith in the third quarter.
However, a muffed punt in the fourth quarter would set up a Giants touchdown. A late field goal by David Akers would allow the 49ers to force overtime, but the Giants would seal the upset on a field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
We Have the Wrong Harbaugh
While getting upset by the underdog Giants the year before hurt, the 2012 49ers suffered an even tougher loss. San Francisco reached the Super Bowl behind dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers, who were 5-0 in Super Bowls before they met the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, appeared to be overwhelmed by the big stage.
The Ravens, who were led by Jim Harbaugh’s brother, John, dominated the first half. When Baltimore return ace Jacoby Jones returned the opening kick to the second half for a 109-yard touchdown to put the Ravens up 28-6, it appeared San Francisco was on its way to being shellacked.
However, thanks to a touchdown pass and run by Kapernick, San Francisco would cut the lead to 34-29 and had the ball inside the 5 with less than two minutes remaining. However, a fourth-and-goal pass would fall incomplete and the Ravens would come away with their second Super Bowl Crown.
Harbaugh’s Last Stand
The 2013 49ers were forced to go on the road and face a Seattle defense known for locking down opponents. Despite this, San Francisco took a 17-13 lead into the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game.
Once again, the 49ers couldn’t finish the fight. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a big touchdown pass and Richard Sherman broke up a pass for Michael Crabtree in the endzone late in the game to allow Seattle to steal a win.
One Bad Quarter
San Francisco had limited Chiefs superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes to 10 points through the first three-quarters of Super Bowl LIV and had intercepted him twice.
However, trailing 20-10 and facing a 3rd-and-15 in the fourth quarter, Mahomes broke free of the San Francisco defense and threw a 44-yard pass to Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs would score three plays later. This would open the floodgates for Kansas City.
The Chiefs scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to snatch the Super Bowl away from the 49ers.
For more similar stories, keep visiting World News Views.
Author Bio: Juren Quiros is a marketing executive at H Street Media.