The San Francisco 49ers have a chance to finish the 2022 NFL regular season with a 10-game winning streak and the top seed in the NFC on Sunday with a win over the shorthanded Arizona Cardinals.
After starting 3-4, the 49ers have turned things around in remarkable fashion, thanks in particular to the arrival of dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey and the emergence of rookie quarterback Brock Purdy.
On Saturday, the Las Vegas Raiders, who lost to San Francisco last weekend, dropped their final game of the season to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, and it meant the 49ers accomplished a unique new league record.
Every team they have played this season lost its very next game, as long as they didn’t have a bye week right after playing them.
With the Raiders’ loss to KC, the 49ers have officially made NFL history:
Every single one of SF’s opponents this season lost its next game, if they’ve played the following week. 0-15. That’d never happened before. Might be a testament to 49ers’ uniquely physical style
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 8, 2023
Some of it could simply be a happy coincidence, but with the physicality the Niners play with, even on offense, perhaps these teams were simply that fatigued afterward.
Despite giving up 34 points to the Raiders in Week 17, they’re still ranked first in points allowed, as well as rushing yards allowed, and most would still agree they have the best overall defense around.
San Francisco seems to have coalesced over the last several weeks into the type of team that is poised to win the Super Bowl, and it has a unique group of men who don’t seem to have any problems sharing the spotlight or the ball.
Of course, its holdovers are likely still feeling the pain from last season’s loss in the NFC Championship Game and their failure in the Super Bowl three years ago, as they held late leads in both contests.
If Purdy continues to play beyond his years, perhaps the 49ers will finally win their sixth world championship in just over a month.