You’d have to go back to the early nineties to find the last time the 49ers started a season 10-1. They did so in 1990 and squared off with the Giants, who were also 10-1. The Niners won that one 10-9, IIRC, then lost the Title game on Roger Craig‘s fumble. That’s probably as close as any team has come to a SB three-peat.
That Title game was also the end of the line for Joe Montana‘s 49er career. He was out with a bad back in 1991, courtesy of Jim Burt‘s major hit on Joe that preceded Craig’s fumble. In 1992, he was traded to Kansas City.
At any rate, the Niners will be facing a team Sunday that looks unstoppable on offense right now. They just finished walloping the Texans and Rams on consecutive weeks, 41-7 and 45-6. They are the only team to beat the Patriots so far this year, and they stomped on them a bit, too. 37-20.
Raven’s QB Lamar Jackson is not likely to last long in this league dancing around like he does, not with those skinny legs, but he’s upright and on a roll for this game. He’ll clearly be the biggest challenge the 49er defense has faced this season.
I’d like to give it the old tut-tut, comrades, have no fear. But …
Our old OC Greg Roman from the Harbaugh years is running the Ravens’ show now. Joe Staley is the only guy left from those years and he might have some insight into what Roman likes to do. Not that it will help much, since this is probably a question of talent more than scheme. If any other QB in the league was running that offense it wouldn’t be scaring hardly anybody.
If the Niners win this one, we’ll have to dust off Keith Jackson for a rousing call of “Whoa, Nellie!”