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This Day in The Bay: 49ers Use Shotgun Formation to Defeat Lions


October 1, 1961

On this day, the 49ers used coach Red Hickey's shotgun formation to defeat the Detroit Lions 49-0.

Hickey unveiled the formation in 1960, then added a new twist in 1961 by rotating three quarterbacks: John Brodie, Bob Waters and Billy Kilmer. The shotgun seemed tailor-made for Kilmer. During a three-game stretch in 1961 the 49ers beat Detroit (49-0), the Los Angeles Rams (35-0) and the Minnesota Vikings (38-24) as Kilmer put on a dazzling show. He rushed for eight touchdowns during that period and became the first 49ers quarterback ever to run for 100 yards in three-straight games.

A yearly tradition that brings together players and coaches, the 49ers team photo highlights the many faces who have donned red and gold. Here they are, in order.

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