In the last post before the 49ers take the field for Super Bowl XLVII, it’s fitting to take just one last look at the hard fought and roller coaster season that was the 49ers in 2012. There have been some extreme highs as well as some echoing lows. Both though created a character and focus that the 49ers have brought to the final game of the season. That’s what Super Bowl caliber teams do, they take the good with the bad, and they learn from it. So if you’re just catching up with the 49ers season, here’s what you missed.
The first game of the season was against the Green Bay Packers, a tough draw for any team entering the year. But the 49ers played outstanding and won the game to get off on the right foot. And one of the highlights of that game was 49ers kicker David Akers tying the record for the longest field goal in NFL history at 63 yards. It seems the 49ers had the Packers number this year as they also defeated them in the NFC Championship game. Two great performances by the 49ers against the Packers, one to start the season and one to power their way in to the Super Bowl.
Weeks two and three were pretty uneventful, for the exception of the media hoopla over another possible handshake gate against the Detroit Lions. The week three loss to the Minnesota Vikings certainly hurt the momentum the 49ers had going after two big wins against the Packers and Lions. But they also had two fairly easy games in weeks four and five against the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills.
At 4-1 going into week six, the 49ers welcomed to Candlestick Park their nemesis from last year’s NFC Championship game, the New York Giants. The 49ers were looking to exact a little revenge for the heartbreaking loss in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Giants came into town and handed the 49ers a major league beat down 26-3. It was huge wake up call for the 49ers, and there were questions as to if the team was as good as they had been billed. It was more certainly a rude awakening. Just as the 49ers have the Packers number, it appears that the Giants have the 49ers.
Then came three straight divisional games, and those are always a brutal affair in the NFC west. After beating the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers faced off against the St. Louis Rams. That’s about when the wheels came off the 49ers wagon. Not only did the game end in a tie after a missed field goal by Akers, the 49ers lost their starting quarterback Alex Smith to a concussion. From that point on the quarterback controversy in San Francisco was in high gear. Albeit because back up Colin Kaepernick was ultra talented and had played extremely well when he took the field.
After two Kaepernick led wins against the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints, the starting quarterback job was his to keep. Though they lost to the Rams in week 13. The Rams loss showed a certain vulnerability in the 49ers system, as they should have never lost that game. They are too talented to lose to the last place team in the division. It was another wake up call, that they had to right the ship if they wanted to make a run in the playoffs.
After a rather lopsided win against the Miami Dolphins, the showdown that the entire league was waiting for came to a head in week 15. The 49ers travels to New England to take on the Patriots and their high powered offense. The 49ers left with a win after an amazing game that saw both teams demonstrate their high quality programs. It was a definite boost to the confidence of the 49ers, and it looked unlikely that they would lose another regular season game. Many thought that this game was a preview of what the Super Bowl was going to look like.
Unfortunately, the Seattle Seahawks did not get that memo, and they handed a whooping to the division leading 49ers 42-13. While the 49ers were already a lock to make the playoffs at this point, it was a clear blow to their psyche, as the Seahawks also were playing for a playoff spot and there would be good chance that the 49ers meet them again somewhere along the line. Not a boost of confidence heading into the final game of the regular season.
The final game of the regular season was again against the Cardinals, and the 49ers drubbed them to capture the number two seed in the playoffs. After a week bye in the wild card round, the playoff plate was set for the 49ers. And from that point on, they were a team on a mission. Super Bowl or bust. Well the moment is here, time to strap yourselves in for the finale. It’s been one heck of a ride for the 49ers, lets hope they finish in style.One
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