The 49ers, who now call Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara home, started professional play in 1946 in the AAFC and would join the NFL in 1950. In 1960 the 49ers invented the shotgun formation. Starting in 1970 the team would win three straight division titles. Throughout most of the rest of the decade, although generally competitive, this did not look like a team that would become one of the best in NFL history.
In 1979, Bill Walsh became head coach and drafted a young Joe Montana. In 1981 with Walsh’s west coast offense, Joe Montana, and a newly bolstered defense, the 49ers were Super Bowl champs. The Niners would go below .500 the next season, but that seems to be more of an aberration. They would not have to face another losing season for 17 years as Montana was putting himself in the record books.
1984 was Super Bowl number two for Montana. In ’86 he was injured early and out for a while but the Niners were more than just their starting quarterback and the rest of the team picked up the slack, particularly Jerry Rice. Walsh brought in Steve Young to bolster the backup position for fear that Montana was becoming injury prone. But Montana would go on to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 1988 and 1989.
At the end of the 1990 season, Montana would wind up with an elbow injury that would keep him out for nearly two years. Steve Young had his time to shine. Unfortunately, he would come up with thumb and knee injuries, leaving backup Steve Bono to get the glory, which he would take full advantage of, leading the team to a record of 9-6. Young would return for the final game which they also won. Montana came back during the ’92 season and became the starter again and led the team to another winning season, but after the season a major quarterback controversy began. Montana knew there would be problems regardless of who came out on top so he requested a trade, and received it. The Steve Young era would begin.
In 1994 Young would make his mark by taking the team to the Super Bowl yet again. The team would be in the playoffs every season until 1999. In that season Young would receive a hit that convinced him to retire. Jeff Garcia would take over.
In 2001 Garcia took the 49ers to the wildcard and into the playoffs the following year. The Niners would not make it back into the playoffs until 2011. That year Jim Harbaugh was hired as coach and would lead the team to the NFC championship game. The following season saw a Super Bowl appearance.
Fast forward to 2017, and Kyle Shanahan is the Niners coach. By 2019 he would have the team division champions, but the following year could not match that due to a rash of injuries. The team was back to the playoffs in 2021 and just last season a third-string quarterback, BrockPurdy, made his mark by taking the team deep into the playoffs.
That bodes well for 2023. A third-stringer showing starter stuff is unusual, but a welcome sight for a team that has seen non-starters have hall of fame ability in the past. We could be watching the beginning of another amazing career.
Don’t miss a second of 2023, and you can be sure you will be watching it all on NFL Webcast! As the Niners take on and take down rivals like the Los Angeles Rams, The Faithful can join in the chat and support your team. NFL Webcast is free and has multiple HD streams that allow you to watch from wherever you are! Bring the voice of the Golden City to NFL Webcast as we watch a great 2023 49ers season together!