2005 San Francisco 49ers season

The 2005 San Francisco 49ers season was the 60th year for the team overall, and their 56th season in the NFL. They improved their two-win 2004 season by two games.

Former head coach Dennis Erickson had been fired just after the end of the 2004 season, and Mike Nolan (son of former Niners head coach Dick Nolan) took the helm.

Despite having a better record than the 2–14 Texans and 3–13 Saints, statistics site Football Outsiders calculated that the 49ers were actually, play-for-play, not only the worst team in the NFL in 2005,[1] but the worst team they've ever tracked.[2] According to the site, the 49ers offense in 2005 is the third-worst they'd ever tracked.[3][2][4] The 49ers 3,587 total offensive yards were the fewest of any team in 2005, and their 239 points scored were third-worst in the NFL.[5] Despite finishing with the worst record in 2004, the 49ers ended up playing the second-toughest schedule that season as they played eight games against playoff teams which includes games against the top seeds in both conferences, the Seattle Seahawks and the Indianapolis Colts, and games against the Chicago Bears and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both teams that the 49ers played due to finishing last in the NFC West the previous year and won their divisions.[6]

San Francisco's 1,898 team passing yards in 2005 were the lowest such total in the decade of the 2000s.[7]

2005 San Francisco 49ers season
Head coachMike Nolan
Home fieldMonster Park
Division place4th NFC West
Playoff finishdid not qualify
Pro Bowlersnone


2005 Draft

The 49ers had the first pick in the 2005 draft, and selected Utah quarterback Alex Smith. The 49ers were in need of a quarterback, and the two top prospects at the position were Smith and Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers, the second quarterback drafted, famously dropped to the 24th pick, and went to the Green Bay Packers, where he eventually won the Super Bowl XLV in 2010 and was voted league MVP in 2011 and 2014

2005 San Francisco 49ers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 1 Alex Smith *  QB Utah
2 33 David Baas  C Michigan
3 65 Frank Gore *  RB Miami (FL)
3 94 Adam Snyder  G Oregon
5 137 Ronald Fields  DT Mississippi State
5 174 Rasheed Marshall  WR West Virginia
6 205 Derrick Johnson (cornerback)  CB Washington
7 215 Daven Holly  CB Cincinnati
7 223 Marcus Maxwell  WR Oregon
7 248 Patrick Estes  TE Virginia
7 249 Billy Bajema  TE Oklahoma State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


2005 San Francisco 49ers staff
Front office


Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Johnny Parker
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Duane Carlisle


2005 San Francisco 49ers final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Regular season

Week 1

1 234Total
Rams 3 6313 25
• 49ers 0 2170 28
  • Date: September 11
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game start: 4:15 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: 64°F (Partly Cloudy)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Carter Blackburn, Howard Griffith and Amy Gutierrez

In Mike Nolan's debut as head coach, the 49ers beat divisional rival St. Louis Rams. Quarterback Tim Rattay got the start, the 49ers were able to build a considerable lead in the 3rd quarter, however, their defense fell apart and allowed the Rams to score 16 straight points, including 13 in the 4th quarter. The Rams were poised to score again, but Michael Adams intercepted Marc Bulger with 52 seconds left to seal the victory and start the season with a win.

Week 2

1 234Total
49ers 0 030 3
• Eagles 14 1477 42

The 49ers were handily beaten by the Philadelphia Eagles as Donovan McNabb threw five touchdown passes, four of which were in the first 19 minutes of the game. In Terrell Owens' first game against his former team he had 143 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Rookie quarterback Alex Smith made his regular season debut, playing the final possession and throwing one incomplete pass.This loss dropped the 49ers to 1–1.

Week 3

1 234Total
• Cowboys 0 12715 34
49ers 7 1770 31
  • Date: September 25
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game start: 4PM ET/1PM PT PST
  • Game weather: 78°F (Sunny)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa

The rivalry between the 49ers and the Cowboys continued in traditional high-scoring fashion. The 49ers maintained the lead for the majority of the game; however, their defense fell apart in the final quarter as they allowed the Cowboys to score fifteen consecutive points while the offense failed to put a single point on the board. The heartbreaking loss dropped the 49ers to 1–2 to start the season.

Week 4

1 234Total
49ers 14 000 14
• Cardinals 0 12613 31

A game played in Mexico City at Azteca Stadium garnered the largest crowd in regular season history, with 103,467 fans in attendance. The 49ers started off well, scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, but failed to score again. The Cardinals then began to dominate, scoring 31 consecutive points, including six field goals by Neil Rackers. San Francisco's backup quarterback Alex Smith was given the green light in the fourth quarter and threw six completions, including the first completed pass of his career. The International game gave the Cardinals their first win of the 2005 season while the loss dropped the 49ers to 1–3.

Week 5

1 234Total
• Colts 7 7014 28
49ers 0 030 3
  • Date: October 9
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game start: 4PM ET/1PM PT PST
  • Game weather: 73°F (Sunny)
  • TV announcers (CBS): Dick Enberg and Dan Dierdorf

In Alex Smith's first NFL start, he threw four interceptions and was sacked five times. Aside from Kevan Barlow, the 49ers offense failed to get comfortable and only managed a single field goal. This was the second straight week in which the 49ers' offense failed to score a touchdown. The loss to the undefeated Colts dropped the 49ers to 1–4, heading into their bye week.

Week 7

1 234Total
49ers 7 0010 17
• Redskins 14 21107 52
  • Date: October 23
  • Location: FedExField, Washington, D.C.
  • Game start: 1PM ET/10AM PT EST
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa

The 49ers lost for the fifth straight time after opening the season with a win when they lost in a 52–17 rout to the Redskins. San Francisco could do nothing right, with Alex Smith getting sacked five times, losing a fumble, and throwing an interception. On the other side of the ball, the Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell tossed three touchdowns and Clinton Portis rushed for three more, rolling up 448 total yards. The 49ers, who had not scored in the fourth quarter yet this season, grabbed ten points in the period. The fifth straight loss dropped the 49ers to 1–5.

Week 8

1 234Total
Buccaneers 0 307 10
• 49ers 0 663 15
  • Date: October 30
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game start: 4:15 ET/1:15 PT PST
  • Game weather: 66°F (Sunny)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Craig Shemon, Dale Hellestrae and Amy Gutierrez

In a game in which both starting quarterbacks were out due to injuries, field goals were the norm: the 49ers' Joe Nedney scoring five of the game's six. In a statistically unimpressive game, San Francisco toppled the Buccaneers, who, prior to the game, had the best record in the NFC. With the victory, the 49ers snapped a five-game losing streak to grab their second win of the season. Buccaneers receiver Joey Galloway caught his 500th reception of his career. The win brought the 49ers up to 2–5 on the season.

Week 9

1 234Total
• Giants 3 7014 24
49ers 0 060 6
  • Date: November 6
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game weather: 63°F (Cloudy)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Sam Rosen, Bill Maas and Chris Myers

For the second straight game, the 49ers failed to score a touchdown, this time managing only two field goals in the loss. Even while the Giants' offense struggled at times, their defense shut the 49ers down, preventing the 49ers from capitalizing on Giants' mistakes, such as allowing the 49ers four first downs on penalties. In a rare error, the 49ers only had 10 players on the field for the first play of the game, a 28-yard catch by Jeremy Shockey. The loss dropped the 49ers to 2–6.

Week 10

1 234Total
49ers 0 333 9
• Bears 0 7010 17

After a scoreless first quarter, the 49ers took a three-point lead in the second quarter off a field goal by Joe Nedney. However, the game turned in the Bears' favor when Nathan Vasher ran back an attempted field goal 108 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers came within 5 point during the fourth quarter, but the high winds made it difficult to pass the ball. This, combined with a fumbled punt, doomed the 49ers to their seventh loss of the season, dropping them to 2–7.

Week 11

1 234Total
• Seahawks 3 14100 27
49ers 3 6313 25
  • Date: November 20
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game weather: 68°F (Sunny)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Curt Menefee, J.C. Pearson and Chris Myers

In a shootout, the 49ers nearly came back from a fifteen-point deficit by scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, the 49ers failed to score on a two-point conversion with under 30 seconds in the game that would have tied it and likely sent it into overtime. In the course of the game, the 49ers scored their first touchdown at home in sixteen quarters and also snapped a streak of 47 possessions without a touchdown. The eighth loss in nine games dropped the 49ers to 2–8.

Week 12

1 234Total
49ers 0 1408 22
• Titans 3 6213 33

The Titans snapped a five-game losing streak and the 49ers extended theirs to four as Titans kicker Rob Bironas kicked a career-high four field goals. The Titans managed to score two touchdowns in a span of only 80 seconds. The game wasn't as close as the final score would suggest, as the Titans forced four turnovers and Steve McNair threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns. The 49ers lost their 9th game, dooming them to a losing season.

Week 13

1 234Total
• Cardinals 3 068 17
49ers 0 730 10
  • Date: December 4
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game weather: 53°F (Mostly Cloudy)
  • TV announcers (Fox): Thom Brenneman, Tim Green and Kevin McCabe

In their fifth loss in as many games (the 49ers' second five-game losing streak), the 49ers fell to the division rival Cardinals. Although two interceptions from quarterback Kurt Warner kept the 49ers in the game, eventually the poor performance by the defense succumbed. The Cardinals took the lead for good with a 54-yard touchdown reception by Anquan Boldin in a third-and-twenty situation. Being swept by the Cardinals this season, the 49ers fell to 2–10 with the loss.

Week 14

1 234Total
49ers 3 000 3
• Seahawks 7 17143 41

The 49ers were dominated in their six straight loss as they fell to 2–11. Not only did Shaun Alexander rush for 108 yards, his ninth consecutive divisional game to rush for more than 100 yards, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for four touchdowns. The 49ers' offense couldn't get going, managing only 113 total yards and fumbling three times. With the victory, the Seahawks completed the division perfectly, 6–0, and gained a two-game lead for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Week 15

1 234Total
49ers 3 303 9
• Jaguars 0 703 10

In a back-and-forth game, the Jaguars emerged victorious and clinched a playoff berth at 10–4. The 49ers offense failed to score a touchdown, as they only managed three field goals by Joe Nedney. The 49ers had opportunities to take the lead, but were unable to get any first downs in the fourth quarter and a fourth down, game-ending, desperation heave from Alex Smith fell harmlessly to the ground. The 49ers fell to 2–12 with their seventh straight loss.

Week 16

1 234Total
• 49ers 7 1007 24
Rams 3 1700 20

The 49ers broke their seven-game losing streak with a big performance from their running backs, Maurice Hicks and Frank Gore, who combined for 177 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Rams lead for most of the game, but the 49ers scored 17 unanswered points and the defense held the Rams scoreless in the second half. The game was only decided in the final minute when Ben Emanuel intercepted a pass at the San Francisco 19-yard line. With the victory, the 49ers moved up to 3–12.

Week 17

1 234OTTotal
Texans 10 0700 17
• 49ers 0 71003 20
  • Date: January 1
  • Location: Monster Park, San Francisco, California
  • Game weather: 59°F (Cloudy)
  • TV announcers (CBS): Bill Macatee and Rich Gannon

The final game of the season for the 49ers, in which the number one draft pick was on the line, was a thriller. The two teams scored back-and-forth with the lead never greater than 7 points. The game went into overtime tied at 17, and Joe Nedney kicked a 33-yard field goal for the win. This marked the only time the 49ers won two consecutive games this season. Moreover, the loss gave the Texans the first overall draft pick and moved the 49ers from second overall to sixth. The 49ers finished the season 4–12.


NFC West
(1) Seattle Seahawks 13 3 0 .813 6–0 10–2 454 271 L1
St. Louis Rams 6 10 0 .375 1–5 3–9 363 429 W1
Arizona Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 3–3 4–8 311 387 L1
San Francisco 49ers 4 12 0 .250 2–4 3–9 239 428 W2


  1. ^ Football Outsiders: 1992 DVOA Ratings and Commentary
  2. ^ a b Football Outsiders – DVOA 7.0: Worst Teams Ever, Minus-55.5 DVOA, worst rating calculated from 1991 through 2011 seasons
  3. ^ Football Outsiders: 1992 DVOA Ratings and Commentary" The Seahawks' −45.9% offensive DVOA sets a new FO record, surpassing the 2005 San Francisco 49ers (−42.0%) as the worst offense we've ever tracked."
  4. ^ Better only than only the 1992 Seattle Seahawks and 2002 Houston Texans' offenses
  5. ^ Pro-Football-Reference: 2005 NFL Standings, Team & Offensive Statistics
  6. ^ http://www.contractbud.com/article.php?article=apc_2006projectedorder&source=front
  7. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com: In a single season, from 2000 to 2011, in the regular season, sorted by ascending Passing Yds
Scoring summary
1STLJeff Wilkins 30 yard field goalRams 3–0
2STLJeff Wilkins 41 yard field goalRams 6–0
2SFBrandon Lloyd 35 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 7–6
2SFOtis Amey 75 yard punt return (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 14–6
2SFArnaz Battle 6 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 21–6
2STLJeff Wilkins 33 yard field goal49ers 21–9
3SFKevan Barlow 9 yard run (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 28–9
3STLJeff Wilkins 41 yard field goal49ers 28–12
4STLIsaac Bruce 29 yard pass from Marc Bulger (run failed)49ers 28–18
4STLBrandon Manumaleuna 6 yard pass from Marc Bulger (Jeff Wilkins kick)49ers 28–25
Scoring summary
1PHITerrell Owens 68 yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick)Eagles 7–0
1PHIL.J. Smith 6 yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick)Eagles 14–0
2PHITerrell Owens 42 yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick)Eagles 21–0
2PHIBrian Westbrook 2 yard pass from Donovan McNabb (Mark Simoneau kick)Eagles 28–0
3SFJoe Nedney 32 yard field goalEagles 28–3
3PHIGreg Lewis 6 yard pass from Donovan McNabb (David Akers kick)Eagles 35–3
4PHILamar Gordon 6 yard run (David Akers kick)Eagles 42–3
Scoring summary
1SFArnaz Battle 15 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 7–0
2DALDrew Bledsoe 6 yard run (kick failed)49ers 7–6
2SFBrandon Lloyd 89 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 14–6
2SFTony Parrish 34 yard interception return (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 21–6
2DALJason Witten 6 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (pass failed)49ers 21–12
2SFJoe Nedney 20 yard field goal49ers 24–12
3DALJulius Jones 1 yard run (Jose Cortez kick)49ers 24–19
3SFBrandon Lloyd 13 yard pass from Tim Rattay (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 31–19
4DALJulius Jones 1 yard run (Jose Cortez kick)49ers 31–26
4DALKeyshawn Johnson 14 yard pass from Drew Bledsoe (Keyshawn Johnson pass from Drew Bledsoe)Cowboys 34–31
Scoring summary
1SFDerek Smith recovered fumble in end zone (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 7–0
1SFDerrick Johnson 78 yard fumble return (Joe Nedney kick)49ers 14–0
2ARINeil Rackers 40 yard field goal49ers 14–3
2ARINeil Rackers 45 yard field goal49ers 14–6
2ARILarry Fitzgerald 17 yard pass from Josh McCown (kick failed)49ers 14–12
3ARINeil Rackers 48 yard field goalCardinals 15–14
3ARINeil Rackers 23 yard field goalCardinals 18–14
4ARINeil Rackers 43 yard field goalCardinals 21–14
4ARIAnquan Boldin 27 yard pass from Josh McCown (Neil Rackers kick)Cardinals 28–14
4ARINeil Rackers 24 yard field goalCardinals 31–14
Scoring summary
1INDDominic Rhodes 6 yard run (Mike Vanderjagt kick)Colts 7–0
2INDCato June 24 yard interception return (Mike Vanderjagt kick)Colts 14–0
3SFJoe Nedney 30 yard field goalColts 14–3
4INDEdgerrin James 4 yard run (Mike Vanderjagt kick)Colts 21–3
4INDTroy Walters 18 yard pass from Peyton Manning (Mike Vanderjagt kick)Colts 28–3
Scoring summary
1WSHMike Sellers 2 yard pass from Mark Brunell (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 7–0
1WSHClinton Portis 5 yard run (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 14–0
1SFKevan Barlow 17 yard run (Joe Nedney kick)Redskins 14–7
2WSHClinton Portis 1 yard run (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 21–7
2WSHSantana Moss 32 yard pass from Mark Brunell (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 28–7
2WSHMike Sellers 19 yard pass from Mark Brunell (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 35–7
3WSHClinton Portis 1 yard run (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 42–7
3WSHNick Novak 27 yard field goalRedskins 45–7
4WSHRock Cartwright 4 yard run (Nick Novak kick)Redskins 52–7
4SFJoe Nedney 47 yard field goalRedskins 52–10
4SFFrank Gore 72 yard run (Joe Nedney kick)Redskins 52–17
Scoring summary
2SFJoe Nedney 45 yard field goal49ers 3–0
2TBMatt Bryant 47 yard field goalTie 3–3
2SFJoe Nedney 47 yard field goal49ers 6–3
3SFJoe Nedney 41 yard field goal49ers 9–3
3SFJoe Nedney 46 yard field goal49ers 12–3
4TBJoey Galloway 78 yard pass from Chris Simms (Matt Bryant kick)49ers 12–10
4SFJoe Nedney 28 yard field goal49ers 15–10
Scoring summary
1NYGJay Feely 22 yard field goalGiants 3–0
2NYGJeremy Shockey 32 yard pass from Eli Manning (Jay Feely kick)Giants 10–0
3SFJoe Nedney 48 yard field goalGiants 10–3
3SFJoe Nedney 52 yard field goalGiants 10–6
4NYGBrandon Jacobs 1 yard run (Jay Feely kick)Giants 17–6
4NYGBrandon Jacobs 1 yard run (Jay Feely kick)Giants 24–6
Scoring summary
2SFJoe Nedney 30 yard field goal49ers 3–0
2CHINathan Vasher 108 yard field goal return (Robbie Gould kick)Bears 7–3
3SFJoe Nedney 34 yard field goalBears 7–6
4CHIAdrian Peterson 7 yard run (Robbie Gould kick)Bears 14–6
4SFJoe Nedney 29 yard field goalBears 14–9
4CHIRobbie Gould 37 yard field goalBears 17–9
Key figures
Division championships (19)
Conference championships (6)
League championships (5)
Retired numbers
Current league affiliations
Former league affiliation
Seasons (73)

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