‘49ers Miss Out on Glory Again
By TOI Staff February 8, 2023 Update on : February 9, 2023
As one of the most high-profile franchises in NFL playoff history, with a record of five Super Bowl titles from seven appearances going into this year’s playoffs, the San Francisco 49ers are always expected to go far when the postseason commences.
But since their last Super Bowl victory in 1995 their reputation of ‘so near yet so far’ glorious defeats have followed them around. And this year it was no different, with a heavy defeat in the NFC Championship game.
Eagles tipped to fly
So instead of battling it out at Glendale, AZ, the 49ers will have to watch on as their conquerors Philadelphia Eagles take on Kansas City Chiefs for the famed Vince Lombardi Trophy. Of the 14 playoff teams, these two were the top seeds for both conferences. Football fans looking to place an NFL bet on the Super Bowl will see that the Eagles are the narrow favourite at 5/6 while the Chiefs are priced at evens.
All eyes are on Patrick Mahomes in the build-up to the game due to the ankle injury that he picked up against the Jacksonville Jaguars, which limited him against the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs will need him at his best as the Eagles have the better team and a fearsome pass rush, although the offensive line should protect him well as they have made a step up from previous seasons, such as the Super Bowl against the 49ers where Mahomes had to put on a herculean performance to come away with a ring.
Once again it was the NFC Championship round that proved too big a hurdle for the 49ers, seeing their shot at the big prize vanish with a heavy 31-7 defeat to the Eagles – at least Cincinnati gave the Chiefs a close game on the other side of the draw.
It was another disappointing end to the campaign for Kyle Shanahan’s charges, who clinched their first divisional championship since 2019 with two weeks still to play thanks to a convincing victory over the Seattle Seahawks, entering the playoffs with a final record of 13-4 and a number of 2022 overall season bests. They topped the lists in turnovers, total defense, defensive scoring and points difference, as well as finishing with an incredible ten-game winning streak.
Following up such an impressive regular season by steamrolling over the Seahawks again in the Wildcard round, then overcoming the Dallas Cowboys in the Divisional round, Shanahan would have had high hopes. But then came Philadelphia in the final hurdle before a shot at the big one, and all that hard work was undone by the unstoppable Eagles machine.
Eyes on the prize
Nevertheless, Shanahan can be proud of his team’s efforts this season and next year could be their best chance yet of finally going all the way. A first-place schedule is already locked in and with key players returning from injury the foundations are already being laid.
It has been nearly 30 years since their last Super Bowl victory and they won’t want to wait any day longer to be part of one of the biggest events in the world of sports.