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The playoff run to San Francisco’s second title following the 1984 season also started with a win over the Giants, 21-10.
The Giants eliminated the 49ers in the wild-card round with a 17-3 win the following season and then launched their own Super Bowl run with a division-round win over San Francisco the next year.
With Jim Burt knocking out Montana with a hard hit late in the first half on a pass that Taylor intercepted and ran back 34 yards for a score, New York won 49-3 on the way to its first Super Bowl win. Rice made the most memorable gaffe of his career in that game when he dropped the ball for a fumble on the way to what seemed like an early touchdown.
The 49ers also beat the Giants 44-3 following the 1993 season in what proved to be the final career game for Phil Simms and Taylor.
"You know there are a lot of memories," Simms said of the rivalry. "They went from maybe the greatest to the worst in lots of ways. The games were awesome."
The teams have met only one time in the postseason since that run of matchups ended. In January 2003, the 49ers fell behind the Giants 38-14 late in the third quarter.
But Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens led San Francisco on an epic comeback with the 49ers taking a 39-38 lead on Garcia’s 13-yard TD pass to Tai Streets with 1 minute remaining.
"It was just one of those games where once one thing went wrong, they all went wrong," said former defensive end Michael Strahan, who will be on hand Sunday as an analyst on Fox’s pregame show.
It only got worse. The Giants were in prime position to win the game, driving to the San Francisco 23 with just 6 seconds remaining.
But Trey Junkin, signed earlier that week, made his second bad snap of the game and holder Matt Allen couldn’t handle it. Allen then threw the ball down field to offensive lineman Rich Seubert, who was an eligible receiver on the play.
Defensive end Chike Okeafor pulled Seubert down on the play, but the officials did not call pass interference because they apparently forgot Seubert was an eligible receiver.
So instead of having a second shot at the field goal, the game ended with the Niners winning. The league later admitted its error, but it came too late for the Giants.
"What good did that do," Strahan said. "That’s one of those games that’s infamous for the drama in it."
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