The 1972San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 23rd year with the National Football League. The 49ers appeared in the playoffs for the third consecutive year. After an early season injury to Quarterback John Brodie, Steve Spurrier stepped in and turned things around with brilliant performances to get the 49ers back in the playoff picture by going 5-2-1 over eight games. In the last game of the season Brodie returned in the 4th Quarter and threw two Touchdown passes to lead the 49ers to a 20-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, as the 49ers won the third straight Division Title with an 8-6-1 record. In the Divisional Playoffs at Candlestick the 49ers looked poised for a return to the NFC Championship leading the Dallas Cowboys 28-13 entering the 4th Quarter. However, the Cowboys would score 17 points to break the hearts of San Francisco again.