While the 2009 San Francisco 49ers came up short in their goal of making the playoffs, an 8-8 regular season (their first non-losing season since 2002) made for an exciting brand of football.
Despite having to switch quarterbacks mid-way through the season, the 49ers still managed to hang around the playoff race until week 15, largely in part to the big play abilities in all three phases of the game
Unfortunately the 49ers would fall short in each phase of the game when it mattered most this season and because of this, they managed just two wins on the road and missed the post-season.
As their head coach Mike Singletary stated after the season finale, his team was simply too immature to reach their goals. And part of that immaturity has to be placed on the head coach. Questionable clock management, including odd timeout usages and play calling was evident throughout the season.
But with a year and a half of coaching under his belt, Singletary should improve as a head coach next season and his players will improve because of it.
Alex Smith will improve, the offensive line will improve and the defense will improve in 2010, and a big reason for the confidence in this team moving forward comes from the big plays turned in on both sides of the ball and even special teams this past season.
Granted some of the big plays turned in by the 49ers came in non crucial moments, including ones in the last two meaningless games. Therefore I have left those off this list.
The remaining big plays that made the list were the ones that fans went crazy over because they were huge moments in crucial games that had playoff implications on the line.