I was poking around the 49ers sub-Reddit earlier today, and I came across an interesting graphic. Someone put together a look at how the 49ers did in their last matchup against each team in the NFL. I've embedded it at the bottom of the article.
I bring it up because I noticed something interesting related to the 49ers 2016 opponents. If you look at the graphic, the 49ers last matchup resulted in at least one loss to each division except two. The 49ers won their last matchup against each team in the AFC East and NFC South. That is pertinent (sort of) because the 49ers face those two divisions this year. The 49ers remaining opponents are their divisional opponents, and the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
The 49ers last faced the AFC East in 2012. The results were as follows:
- Week 4 @ Jets - 49ers win 34-0
- Week 5 vs. Bills - 49ers win 45-3
- Week 14 vs. Dolphins - 49ers win 27-13
- Week 15 @ Patriots - 49ers win 41-34
I was in attendance for that Patriots game, and it remains one of the most entertaining football games I have ever attended (the game that shall not be named would have topped the list if a certain team had won). It was cold and rainy, somewhere just above freezing. I was there with my dad, who is a Patriots fan, and we were both wearing extensive rain gear.
Some clowns a few rows back were throwing quarters at me throughout the first quarter. However, when the 49ers took a big lead, they quickly departed. The 49ers almost blew it, but thankfully held on for a wild win. I would have preferred the simple monster blowout, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless.
The 49ers wins over NFC South teams have been split up over several years since they face them in other circumstances beyond just every four years. Last year, they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 17-16 at home in Week 9. In 2014, they defeated the New Orleans Saints 27-24 on the road. In the 2013 season, they defeated the Carolina Panthers 23-10 on the road in the divisional round of the playoffs. This followed a regular season loss to the Panthers. They beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 33-14 in a Week 14 road game.
None of this really means much of anything for the 2016 San Francisco 49ers. After all, this year's team is nothing like those 2012 and 2013 teams. And while the team has some similarities to last season, I think most of us are hoping the change in coaching staff is enough of a first step to see some improvement.