49ers history vs. Chargers: Wins, losses and playoff matchups

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young (R) evades the grip of San Diego Chargers Leslie O'Neal (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young (R) evades the grip of San Diego Chargers Leslie O'Neal (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images) /

The 49ers don’t face off against the Chargers too often, and when they do, it’s usually in the preseason. But what about the regular season and postseason history?

The San Francisco 49ers are awfully familiar with one of the two teams from Southern California, the Los Angeles Rams, being in the NFC West and partaking in at least two games per year. Or, as was the case in February of 2022, a third game with a berth to the Super Bowl on the line.

However, the Niners aren’t necessarily that familiar with the other team from LA, the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers, against whom they’ve faced 14 times during the regular season and just once in the playoffs.

San Francisco fans might recall that playoff bout between the two teams, but we’ll get there in a moment.

The Bolts actually hold the edge in the all-time series ahead of both teams’ matchup in Week 10 of the 2022 season, boasting an 8-6 regular-season record over the 49ers in games stretching from 1972 through the last time these two teams met back in 2018.

49ers regular-season history vs. Chargers

Here’s the breakdown of how the Niners have fared against the Chargers dating back to their first contest against each other on Sept. 17, 1972:

  • Sunday, Sept. 17, 1972: 49ers 34, Chargers 3
  • Sunday, Dec. 5, 1976: Chargers 13, 49ers 7
  • Sunday, Sept. 30, 1979: Chargers 31, 49ers 9
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 1982: Chargers 41, 49ers 37
  • Sunday, Nov. 27, 1988: 49ers 48, Chargers 10
  • Sunday, Sept. 8, 1991: 49ers 34, Chargers 14
  • Sunday, Dec. 11, 1994: 49ers 38, Chargers 15
  • Sunday, Nov. 23, 1997: 49ers 17, Chargers 10
  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 2000: 49ers 45, Chargers 17
  • Sunday, Nov. 17, 2002: Chargers 20, 49ers 17*
  • Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006: Chargers 48, 49ers 19
  • Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010: Chargers 34, 49ers 7
  • Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014: Chargers 38, 49ers 35*
  • Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018: Chargers 29, 49ers 27

* overtime

The Bolts have rode a five-game win streak over the Niners up through their last meeting in 2018, but it’s the one Super Bowl game that fans should recall the most.

49ers dominance over Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX

San Francisco’s fifth and most recent Super Bowl victory came at the conclusion of the 1994 season in which the team stockpiled plenty of talent, including adding All-Pro cornerback Deion Sanders, to get beyond what was its primary nemesis in the NFC, the Dallas Cowboys.

Having defeated Dallas in the NFC Championship game, the Niners were heavy favorites over the Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX.

And that’s precisely how the game panned out with quarterback Steve Young “getting the monkey off his back” by setting a new Super Bowl record with six passing touchdowns.

Young would earn MVP honors in the game, while San Francisco stomped San Diego by a final score of 49-26 on Sunday, Jan. 9, 1995, from Joe Robbie Stadium.

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