January 10th 2003
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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With two games remaining in the season, and the 49ers having the NFC West clinched, and very minimal odds of moving up in the post season rankings, the 49ers declared that carrying momentum into the playoffs really wasnít that important. And as a result, the team rested as many injured players as they could, jeopardizing victory in the final games.
After looking flat for the first 40 minutes of football on Sunday, it looked like momentum, was indeed an important factor in football - the Giants after all were one of the hottest teams in the NFL and had a 24 point lead. But when it was all said and done the 49ers rallied back and won the game. Was momentum a factor? This game says no.
Thereís no doubt that getting players healthy was more important than gaining momentum heading into the playoffs, but to deny itís importance altogether? That was simply a bad idea. It was a bad idea because now that the 49ers are coming off a big win, they sound ridiculous talking about how they want to ride the big win threw the playoffs.
Momentum is surely a part of winning in football. The 49ers never should have denied the importance of momentum, rather they should have deflected the issue to the importance of getting healthy - which they attempted to do at some points but not others. Irony is bliss isnít?