2011 NFC Divisional Playoff (Jan. 14, 2012)
The San Francisco 49ers knocked off the New Orleans Saints in thrilling fashion on Vernon Davis' touchdown reception with just nine seconds remaining in the game. The play capped a frenzied final four minutes in the 49ers' 36-32 win as four touchdowns were exchanged in the last four minutes of the game. The win sent the 49ers to their first NFC Championship Game in 14 years.
George Nikitin/Associated Press
Rice sets touchdown record (Sept. 5, 1994)
In the season-opening "Monday Night Football" game, Jerry Rice scored three touchdowns to pass Jim Brown on the all-time touchdown list with his 127th such score. The 49ers rolled to a 44-14 win over the visiting Los Angeles Raiders.
Susan Ragan/Associated Press
1998 NFC Wild-Card Game (Jan. 3, 1999)
"The Catch II" provided the 49ers with yet another epic playoff moment of glory in their time in Candlestick Park. Terrell Owens caught a long touchdown pass from Steve Young with just three seconds remaining in the game to give the 49ers a 30-27 win over the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers' previous three seasons had come to an end with playoff losses to the Packers.
Eric Risberg/Associated Press
The comeback (Dec. 7, 1980)
The 49ers trailed the New Orleans Saints 35-7 at halftime, only to rally for a 38-35 overtime win. Joe Montana -- then in only his second NFL season and making just his sixth start -- engineered the charge back, throwing for two touchdowns and running for another. At the time, the 28-point comeback was the greatest in NFL history.
Jeff Reinking/Associated Press
Young's crazy run (Oct. 30, 1988)
Steve Young went on a long, winding, rumbling and stumbling 49-yard touchdown run with less than two minutes to play to give the 49ers a 24-21 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Eric Risberg/Associated Press
1994 NFC Championship Game (Jan. 15, 1995)
Steve Young finally solved the bugaboo that was the Dallas Cowboys powerhouse of the 1990s, and delivered the 49ers' first championship win without Joe Montana. The 49ers prevailed 38-28 over the Cowboys, and Young marked the milestone triumph with a victory lap around an elated Candlestick Park. Two weeks later, the 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX and Young was named the game's MVP.
Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
Montana returns in grand fashion (Nov. 9, 1986)
After being sidelined for eight weeks after a back surgery, Joe Montana returned to the lineup and helped deliver a 43-17 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals. Montana had three touchdown passes in the lopsided win.
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press
2002 NFC Wild-Card Game (Jan. 5, 2003)
The incredible finish of this wild-card showdown only added a punctuation mark to one of the most exciting playoff games in NFL history. After spotting the Giants a 38-14 lead by the third quarter, the 49ers mounted the second-greatest playoff comeback in NFL history (behind only the Buffalo Bills' win over the Houston Oilers in the 1992 wild-card round) to eventually take the lead. After the Giants squandered that lead, they had one last shot to redeem themselves. What followed was chaos. It was a wild day for football, since earlier in the afternoon the Steelers topped the rival Browns in another epic clash.
Bob Galbraith/Associated Press
1989 NFC Championship Game (Jan. 14, 1990)
In one of the most dominant conference championship displays in NFL history, the 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Rams, 30-3, to advance to Super Bowl XXIV. Two weeks after this decisive victory, the 49ers dump-trucked the Denver Broncos, 55-10, in the biggest blowout in Super Bowl history to win a fourth Lombardi Trophy in nine seasons.
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated/Getty Images
1981 NFC Championship Game (Jan. 10, 1982)
Just say "The Catch" and any football fan worth his salt will recall Dwight Clark's game-winning touchdown in the San Francisco 49ers' 28-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC title game. That historic and dramatic victory propelled San Francisco to its first Super Bowl triumph and set the stage for the 49ers' long dynasty that lasted well into the 1990s.
More Photo Essays:
- Fantasy best fits for 2014
- Throwback Thursday - Michael Irvin
- All-Time Team - Green Bay Packers
- Mind-blowing stats for free agency
- Throwback Thursday - Extraordinary Combine Busts
- Mind-blowing stats for the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine
- Throwback Thursday - Wish you could've stayed
- NFL players from historically black colleges
- Top 10 coaching change fantasy winners