1997 San Francisco 49ers season

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1997 San Francisco 49ers season
Head coach Steve Mariucci
Home field Candlestick Park
Results
Record 13–3
Division place 1st NFC West
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoff (Minnesota) 38-22
Lost NFC Championship (Green Bay) 23-10
Uniform
49ers 9697.png
Timeline
Previous season Next season
< 1996 1998 >

The 1997 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 48th year with the National Football League. The franchise appeared in the NFC Championship Game for the fifth time in the 1990s and is their last appearance in the NFC title game until the 2011 season.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

Roster[edit]

Regular season[edit]

The 49ers opened the 1997 season with high hopes. With new coach Steve Mariucci and half back Garrison Hearst, the 49ers seemed to have shored up their one major weakness from the season before. Also, additions Kevin Gogan to the offensive line and Rod Woodson to the defense were clear improvements over last season's roster. However, in the first game of the season at Tampa Bay the greatest disaster the 49ers could have imagined occurred: both quarterback Steve Young and receiver Jerry Rice went down with injuries. Rice appeared to be out for the season with a serious knee injury and Young, with yet another concussion, had discussed and considered retirement.

However, Young eventually came back, as did Rice for one and a half quarters (before getting another unrelated injury to his knee), and the team, with the league's number one defense leading the way, pulled together and finished strongly at 13–3.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
1 August 31, 1997 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers L 6–13 FOX 4:05et
62,554
2 September 7, 1997 at St. Louis Rams W 15–12 FOX 1:00et/12:00ct
64,630
3 September 14, 1997 New Orleans Saints W 33–7 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
61,838
4 September 21, 1997 Atlanta Falcons W 34–17 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
60,404
5 September 29, 1997 (Mon) at Carolina Panthers W 34–21 ABC 9:00et
70,972
6 BYE WEEK
7 October 12, 1997 St. Louis Rams W 30–10 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
63,825
8 October 19, 1997 at Atlanta Falcons W 35–28 FOX 1:00et
53,378
9 October 26, 1997 at New Orleans Saints W 23–0 FOX 1:00et/12:00ct
60,443
10 November 2, 1997 Dallas Cowboys W 17–10 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
68,657
11 November 10, 1997 (Mon) at Philadelphia Eagles W 24–12 ABC 9:00et
67,133
12 November 16, 1997 Carolina Panthers W 27–19 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
61,500
13 November 23, 1997 San Diego Chargers W 17–10 NBC 4:15et/1:15pt
61,195
14 November 30, 1997 at Kansas City Chiefs L 9–44 FOX 1:00et/12:00ct
77,535
15 December 7, 1997 Minnesota Vikings W 28–17 FOX 4:15et/1:15pt
55,761
16 December 15, 1997 (Mon) Denver Broncos W 34–17 ABC 9:00et/6:00pt
68,461
17 December 21, 1997 at Seattle Seahawks L 9–38 ESPN 8:15et/5:15pt
66,253

Standings[edit]

NFC West
W L T PCT PF PA
(1) San Francisco 49ers 13 3 0 .813 375 265
Carolina Panthers 7 9 0 .438 265 314
Atlanta Falcons 7 9 0 .438 320 361
New Orleans Saints 6 10 0 .375 237 327
St. Louis Rams 5 11 0 .313 299 359

Playoffs[edit]

Towards the end of the season things appeared to be going well for the 49er's postseason prospects. However, in the second to last game of the season Jerry Rice was injured again and deemed out for the playoffs. Similarly, the team's offensive heart for the season, running back Garrison Hearst, had a broken collar bone through the post season and didn't return to full health prior to the end of the season.

Despite not having either their leading receiver or their starting running back, the 49ers were able to make it to their 7th NFC championship in 10 years. However, not having an elite receiver or solid running back showed glaringly in their loss to the Packers in the conference championship (Hearst returned, but his injury was clearly still a problem as he only played a few ineffective snaps).

NFC Divisional Game vs. Minnesota Vikings[edit]

NFC Divisional Playoff: Minnesota Vikings at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 0 7 8 22
49ers 7 14 10 7 38

at 3Com Park

  • Date: January 3, 1998
  • Game time: 1 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 54 degrees, relative humidity 88%, wind 13 mph

NFC Championship Game vs. Green Bay Packers[edit]

NFC Championship at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 3 10 0 10 23
49ers 0 3 0 7 10

at 3Com Park

  • Date: January 11, 1998
  • Game time: 1 p.m. PDT
  • Game weather: 54 degrees, relative humidity 90%, wind 10 mph

The 49ers and Packers meet for the 3rd year in a row in the playoffs, and for the 3rd year in a row, the Packers defeat the 49ers. The 49ers were battling multiple injuries in the game, including missing star wide receiver Jerry Rice. The lack of depth on offense showed throughout the game, as the offense generated just 3 points. The only touchdown of the game for the 49ers was when Chuck Levy returned a 95 yard kick off return for a touchdown. But by then, the Packers had a commanding 23-10 lead in the 4th quarter. With the loss, the 49ers finish the year at 14-4.

Awards and records[edit]

  • Steve Young, Led NFL, Passer Rating, 104.7 Rating [1]

Milestones[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 450