Four years later, we have the same iconic colors and heritage but different players.
Both teams have come a long way since 2008. The 49ers are now considered one of the few elite teams in the National Football League.
The Bills? Maybe they’re not contenders in the mold of the 49ers, but have they improved? Absolutely.
Again, this is about the players. And with that, we have several intriguing matchups this Sunday when these two iconic teams face-off.
1) Anthony Davis (OT) vs. Mario Williams (DE)
Davis, who has had a resurgent season at right tackle, will have a tough matchup against Mario Williams this Sunday.
However, Williams has struggled to get at the quarterback consistently in the short parts of this season. At four games, Williams has only recorded 1.5 sacks.
Williams has not played up to the 100 million dollar contract the Bills rewarded him in the offseason.
If Davis can hold his own, it should allow the 49ers to focus more on the Bills interior defense line, which also happens to be their true strength.
I fully expect Joe Staley to hold his own against Mark Anderson on the left side, making this a key matchup between Davis and Williams.
2) Andy Levitre vs. Justin Smith
In the 49ers 3-4 alignment, Smith plays end but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio usually has the bulking lineman play over the guard.
What this means? Levitre will have his shot against the best defensive end in football.
Levitre is one of the more underrated offensive linemen in football, but this will be a tough matchup for the fourth year pro.
The Bills offensive line has been solid as well, having only given up four sacks thus far in the season.
3) Tarell Brown vs. Steve Johnson
Carlos Rogers and Brown are slated as starters on the depth chart. However, from recent trends, the 49ers have Brown line up against the opponents more explosive receiver. This may be the case on Sunday.
Rogers has been playing more in the slot recently, so I expect Vic Fangio to move him around.
Chris Culliver may also get his shot at blanketing Johnson. The second year cornerback has been excellent in his sophomore campaign, and would definitely pester Johnson with his athleticism.