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49ers Finish Season With Shutout
January 07 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
The 49ers wrapped up their regular season on Sunday with a 38-0 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The amazing thing though was this was the same team that lost to the hapless Cowboys last Sunday. Maybe the loss was exactly what the 49ers needed even though it virtually eliminated the teams chances of playing their wild card game at home. The 49ers instead will travel to Green Bay to face the Packers -who have never lost a playoff game at Lambeau field, next Sunday in what should be one of the greatest games of the season.

All season the 49ers have been telling the world that we should wait until they put four solid quarters together. In this final game of the regular season we saw exactly what they meant. Granted the Saints weren’t the best of competitors, but that really doesn’t matter when your offense puts 38 points on the board, ten of which were lead by Tim Ratty. Or when in two receptions Terrell Owens goes over 100 yards and scores two touchdowns - taking him to sixteen on the season. Garcia had four touchdowns before taking some rest to make sure he’d be healthy for his first NFL playoff game.

Once again the defense was really awesome, recording their third shutout of the season. Feeding off of great pressure from the defensive line, and Andre Carter’s 2 sacks, the defense recorded an astounding six turnovers. It was an incredible outing for a defense that was ranked last in the league last season. A great way to close the regular season, where in the past six games, they have recorded three shutouts (half of the total shutouts in the NFL this season) and only have given up 44 points. That’s just over seven points a game.

Even though the 49ers put the breaks on in this game, we finally got a chance to see what would happen when the 49ers put four great quarters together. Running on all cylinders again, this team will attempt to do the impossible in Green Bay - beat the Packers in a home playoff game. In a season that has seemed quite ‘normal’ by 49ers standards, perhaps it is only fitting that it will be the rival Packers who meet the 49ers in the playoffs.

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