Friday, September 09, 2005

Amidst the hype surrounding the Patriots and their possible three-peattm (courtesy: Pat Riley), I feel compelled to remind people of the team that SHOULD have been the only NFL three-peattm up until this point… The 1988-1990 San Francisco 49ers, perhaps the greatest offense in history, came within a Roger Fucking Craig fumble of winning the NFC Championship Game, and the inevitable Berman dream match-up against the Buffalo Bills. They had already beat the Bengals, blasted the Broncos, and were poised to blow away the Bills.

Though Montana probably would have been out of the Super Bowl (courtesy of a blindside hit by Leonard Marshall), Steve Young would have started at QB. Jerry Rice was at his unstoppable peak (which lasted 12 years), John Taylor was almost his equal on the other side, Roger Craig was coming off an MVP year, Tom Rathman was the best fullback in football, the offensive line had three Pro-Bowlers, and I haven’t even talked about the defense led by Ronnie Lott and Keena Turner. This team was loaded.

Here’s a fun game, check out these receiving numbers…

Receiver A - 347 receptions, 5,598 yards, 16.3 avg, 43 tds
Receiver B - 336 reeptions, 5,462 yards, 16.3 avg, 51 tds

Receiver B is in the Hall of Fame, Receiver A has never been nominated.

Receiver B? Lynn Swann. Receiver A? John Taylor.

My guess if the 1988-1990 49ers played the 2003-2005 Patriots that the faster, more athletic 49ers would pick apart the Patriot defense with quick slants to Rice and Taylor and take advantage of the slower linebackers with swing passes to the backs. The Patriots might be able to run on the 49ers, but wouldn’t be able to cash in enough with touchdowns to counter the more potent offense on the other side.

My guess for final score: 49ers 34, Patriots 23.

p.s. Just for kicks, I ran the game on What-if-Sports. Played in the Superdome (for sentimental reasons). 1989 49ers 23, 2004 Pats 17.

p.p.s. In a series simulation, the 49ers win 4-2.


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