Niners make wrong kind of history

The 49ers made history Sunday - the wrong kind of history.

Their NFL-record streak of scoring in 420 consecutive games finally came to an unceremonious end when they were shut out 34-0 by the Seahawks at Seattle's Qwest Field.

It's a record that may never be broken. And if it ever is, it won't be for decades, considering the Dallas Cowboys' streak of scoring in 219 consecutive games between 1970-1985 ranks as the second-longest in NFL history.

The incredible streak was a record run that some thought might never end, considering the offensive standards the 49ers have set over the past quarter-century with their vaunted West Coast attack.

But coach Dennis Erickson's version of that attack produced only 175 yards and nine first downs against an aggressive Seahawks defense and never got close to the Seattle end zone.

As it turned out, the Niners best shot at extending the streak came midway through the second period when - trailing 17-0 - they drove to the Seattle 28-yard line before the drive stalled. But in a play that was symbolic of San Francisco's offense coming up short Sunday, Todd Peterson's 46-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar and bounced back toward the field.

Trailing 34-0 entering the fourth period, the Niners twice had opportunities in the quarter to extend the scoring streak.

But after reaching the Seattle 28 midway through the period, quarterback Ken Dorsey was intercepted in the end zone. On San Francisco's next possession, the Niners reached the Seattle 32 but Dorsey fumbled after being hit and Seattle recovered - Dorsey's fourth turnover of the game.

The Niners never got the ball back, and one of the shining symbols of the franchise's success now has a number that no longer will grow: 420.

Before Sunday, in the 420 games since that Falcons shutout, the 49ers were held to single-digit scoring 30 times. Only five times were they shut out until the fourth quarter. The closest call came in 1995, when the 49ers' only score in a November home loss came on Derek Loville's 1-yard touchdown run with 1:17 remaining.

The streak lasted through seven head coaches, eight offensive coordinators and more than a dozen starting quarterbacks. But now, when the Niners come home for a 5:30 p.m. game against St. Louis next Sunday, they'll have to start a new one.

Niners Digest Top Stories