What If the 1984 San Francisco 49ers Went 19-0?

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What If the 1984 San Francisco 49ers Went 19-0?
(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

During the seventh week of the 1984 season Bill Walsh was extremely angry at his team.

Around the week the San Francisco 49ers faced the Pittsburgh Steelers, a group of fourteen 49ers recorded and publicly released a song called "We're the 49ers," which quickly became a theme song for the team.

"Bill was very unhappy with us," former linebacker Keena Turner said on the 1984 San Francisco 49ers edition of America's Game. "That so much focus was on this outside of football."

The 1984 San Francisco 49ers fell 20-17 to Pittsburgh at home, their only loss of the year.

Was it a result of being complacent and not focusing enough on football? Well, we'll never know.

Although the tune is very catchy and quite memorable, I would have rather sacrificed the song and had the 1984 squad immortalized as the first team to go 19-0, a feat the 2007 New England Patriots almost accomplished.

The 1984 San Francisco 49ers annihilated opponents on both sides of the ball, beating teams by an average of almost 23 points a game. This was one of the most balanced teams in NFL history as they ranked first in total offense and team defense in the NFC and were the first team ever to win 15 regular season games in the modern NFL.

"A precision machine," Bill Walsh described his 1984 team on America's Game. "A machine that effectively and precisely destroyed the opponent."

San Francisco steamrolled through the playoffs, destroying the New York Giants 21-10 and the Chicago Bears 23-0 in the process.

But Miami quarterback Dan Marino with his record 48 touchdown passes (since broken by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady) and 5,084 yards, awaited San Francisco in Super Bowl XIX at Stanford Stadium. Many in the media declared the younger Marino and the 14-2 Dolphins as the eventual champion of the Super Bowl over the 15-1 49ers.

"I could remember Walsh lying down in the middle of the floor and he just started rumbling on and on," former defensive back Dwight Hicks recalled on America's Game. "Miami, oh, they have such a great offense, oh my god, how are we going to stop them?"

"And geez, their defense and the Killer B's, geez, how are we going to be able to get a first down or even a yard? He just wanted to light that fire before we came out of the locker room. I can remember he turned and he looked at me and just said God, don't you just want to break the wall and go kick their a-- (rear end) right now?"

The Miami Dolphins did hold a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, but in the second quarter, Montana led three consecutive scoring drives giving the 49ers a commanding 28-10 lead.

The No. 1 rated 49er defense constantly rushed and beat up the talented Marino all day long, something he didn't face during the season as he was sacked four times and intercepted twice.

"They came to see an offense and the wrong one showed up," center Randy Cross exclaimed as cameras focused in on him during the final moments of the San Francisco 49ers' 38-16 Super Bowl XIX victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Not only did this 18-1 team dominate in the regular season, they dominated in the post season, almost destroying one of the greatest individual seasons a quarterback could ever have in the process.

If the loss didn't happen against the Steelers in week seven, this would have been the first 19-0 team and the undisputed greatest single season team in NFL history.


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