If we asked you to pick your favorite game in 49ers history, you’re picking one of their Super Bowl victories. Instead, let’s eliminate the playoffs and focus on the regular season today. So what’s your favorite 49ers regular-season game of all time?
Naturally, nostalgia will be tied into your answer.
- The “Pick at the Stick” should lead the charge for this generation. The game took place on a Monday night, so everyone remembers it. NaVorro Bowman intercepted Matt Ryan and sealed the game after an 89-yard return. That would be the final game at Candlestick. This was far from a meaningless game in December. Bowman’s touchdown helped the 49ers clinch a playoff berth.
- In the Kyle Shanahan era, it has to be Dre Greenlaw’s goal-line tackle that helped the team clinch the division over the Seahawks on the road in the season finale. But that wouldn’t make the top 10 if we’re not falling for recency bias.
- This is a bit of a throwback, but we can’t make a list without mentioning Garrison Hearst in 1998. You’re not wrong for saying one of Frank Gore’s performances. But the season-opener in ‘98 between the 49ers and the Jets saw a wild game where whatever a Glenn Foley was threw for more than 400 yards.
Tied at 30 after a 31-yard field goal forced overtime, the 49ers looked dead in the water after being pinned at their 4-yard line.
Hearst takes the handoff, runs through an arm tackle, Derrick Henry’d an oncoming defensive back, and shook another defender as Terrell Owens sprinted over 40 yards to clear the way for a touchdown. One of the most electric runs you’ll ever see that capped off a memorable game.
- Another nationally televised game that comes to mind is Colin Kaepernick’s first start against the Bears. That was a treat to watch. Aldon Smith had 5.5 sacks. And Kap was a blur with a cannon that looked like the future. Colin’s first pass was a deep comeback. His second pass was over 20 yards to Vernon Davis outside of the numbers. And from there, you’re watching like, “whoa, this kid can play.”
It didn’t stop there. A bomb to Kyle Williams on a corner route that was a dime. A seed to Vernon Davis down the seam. It was an epic first half that continued all game. The scramble and touchdown throw to Crabtree.. I could go on and on about the breakout performance.
Removing the playoffs makes this question tough. The Catch II and III were both in the playoffs. Jeff Garcia had a handful of entertaining comebacks, but the best was in the postseason. The 80s and 90s were dominated by postseason highlights.
But we’re talking about the regular season. What’s your favorite game?