San Francisco 49ers: Top 20 games in franchise history

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2014 Week 17 Game Against the Arizona Cardinals

The final game of the 2014 season was a farewell performance for two key figures of the 49ers. Head coach Jim Harbaugh left the 49ers to coach at the University of Michigan, a move that had seemed inevitable for weeks. The reasons for the parting seemed unclear and Harbaugh ultimately intimated, in a conversation with Tim Kawakami of San Jose Mercury News, that he had essentially been fired.

Besides the loss of Harbaugh, the final game against Arizona witnessed the end of a 49ers era that hurt fans even worse. Frank Gore, the leading rusher in 49ers franchise history with 11,073 yards, was a free agent and ultimately decided to sign with the Indianapolis Colts in the offseason.

Gore had been the team’s most reliable player for nearly a decade since being drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft. While the team struggled to remain relevant, Gore was consistently playing hard for bad teams.

Gore rushed for 144 yards in the season-ending 20-17 win against Arizona, further cementing his legacy as a 49er legend. The losses of Harbaugh and Gore were simply the beginning of an offseason filled with departing players.

Next: The 49ers Handle Dolphins in Super Bowl