Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: The Catch II

The Packers and Niners resume their postseason rivalry on Saturday night when the NFL Playoffs land in Candlestick Park.

However, this isn’t the proverbial first rodeo for the Packers and 49ers in the postseason.

Heading into the 1998 playoffs, it was evident we could be in store for some memorable postseason games.

It was easy to figure out why;  the NFC playoff field in 1998 was LOADED. Take a look at this group:

  • The 15-1 Minnesota Vikings led by rookie receiver Randy Moss and the then-highest scoring offense in league history were the conference’s top seed.
  • The NFC’s second seed was occupied by the 14-2 Atlanta Falcons, who rode the spirit of the Dirty Bird all the way into Super Bowl XXXIII.
  • The 10-6 Dallas Cowboys were champions of the NFC East but a ways off from their dominating days of the early to mid ’90s.
  • San Francisco and Green Bay were 12-4 and 11-5 respectively, led by a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Steve Young and Brett Favre.
  • The 9-7 Arizona Cardinals challenged Dallas for the NFC East crown and then, upset them 20-7 in opening round of the playoffs.

The true gem of the wild card round proved to be San Francisco’s tilt with the Packers. Trailing late in the fourth quarter, Favre led a go-ahead touchdown drive that put Green Bay up by four.

With under two minutes left, Young launched the eventual game-winning drive. While the game will be remembered for the amazing catch by Terrell Owens, it may also be remembered for the erroneous Jerry Rice fumble that allowed San Francisco to stay alive.

Rice clearly fumbled earlier in the drive but the play was blown dead for some mysterious reason. Of course, there was no instant replay in 1998 (it would return in the following season) and the call stood.

Moments later, Owens scored and the Niners won 30-27.

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Categories: Throwback Thursday

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