The San Francisco 49ers are set to face the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, marking their first Monday appearance since 2016. If history says anything, the Monday prime time games have been kind to the 49ers. They haven’t lost a MNF game for almost a decade regardless of the false hope the wins may have inspired.
The last time the 49ers were on Monday Night Football was in 2016 to open their season under Chip Kelly. The 49ers blew out the then-St. Louis Rams in a game that indicated a lot of promise and possible a turning point in their fortunes after a season of mediocrity.
The 49ers would win one more game in 2016.
This isn’t the first MNF game to give false hope either. The season prior to that, the 49ers opened up their season in much the same way under their new head coach Jim Tomsula. The 49ers would win a very sloppy game against the Minnesota Vikings (one I consider one of the worst football games I’ve been subjected to), but still ease some of the anxiety caused by Jim Tomsula replacing Jim Harbaugh after the team “mutually parted ways” with the latter. The team again would won four more games and looked awful doing everything. So awful, Tomsula was dismissed after only one season.
Things weren’t always inspiring false hope. Prior to the Tomsula game, the 49ers played their last game in Candlestick Park against the Atlanta Falcons under the bright lights. This was the infamous ‘Pick at the Stick’ where NaVorro Bowman picked off Matt Ryan in the 49ers red zone and took it to the house. The play gave San Francisco the win and sent them to the playoffs, while bidding farewell to the ‘Stick.
Beyond that, MNF brought some statements and ushered in eras. In 2012 Colin Kaepernick made his first start as 49ers quarterback against the Chicago Bears, thumping them to the tune of 32-7 and starting a quarterback controversy that led to Alex Smith’s benching and the 49ers appearing in the Super Bowl. In 2011, the 49ers would stomp the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-3 making heads turn and analysts accept the once-misfit 49ers as legit playoff contenders.
The last time the 49ers lost a Monday Night Football game? 2010 against the New Orleans Saints. A last second field goal would seal the deal 25-22 as the 49ers would open the season with five straight losses and eventually fire Mike Singletary.
The 49ers now face the Green Bay Packers in a game that won’t inspire false hope given the injury struggles and record the 49ers face. Nor will it have anything on the line given the aforementioned issues. It’s a game on prime time that isn’t a Thursday.
That’s really all that matters at this point.