49ers unwritten rule No. 4: Get the ball to your best playmaker when the game is on the line
You’ve heard it a bunch. During those clutch situations, perhaps late in the game when it’s tied or there’s a one-score difference, it’s always a good idea to make sure your biggest playmakers are making plays. And in the Niners’ cases, it means getting the ball to the team’s best offensive weapon, and San Francisco hasn’t lacked for any of those over the years.
The problem with that approach, however, is the other team knows that’s a strategy, too.
Remember in the 1999 Wild Card game between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers? Well, the game-winning touchdown, otherwise known as “The Catch II” went to a then-unheralded wide receiver, Terrell Owens, and not the Niners’ No. 1 threat, Jerry Rice. Or how about Super Bowl XXIII between the 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals? Quarterback Joe Montana capped off his storied two-minute drive, not to Rice, but to No. 2 wide receiver John Taylor for the game winner.
Yeah, this isn’t a rule to follow. Unless it’s tight end George Kittle and the Niners are playing the New Orleans Saints.
Perhaps there’s a good exception to every rule, right?