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1989 San Francisco 49ers season

1989 San Francisco 49ers season
Head coach George Seifert
General manager John McVay
Owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr.
Home field Candlestick Park
Record 14–2
Division place 1st NFC West
Playoff finish Won Divisional Playoffs (Vikings) 41–13
Won NFC Championship (Rams) 30–3
Won Super Bowl XXIV (Broncos) 55–10
Previous season      Next season
< 1988      1990 >

The 1989 San Francisco 49ers season was the team's 44th season in the National Football League. The 49ers franchise cemented their reputation as the best team of the decade. After going 14-2 in the regular season, the 49ers completed the season with the most dominant playoff run in NFL history, outscoring opponents 126-26 and winning their fourth Super Bowl victory.

In 2007,'s Page 2 ranked the 1989 49ers as the greatest team in Super Bowl history.[1]

Quarterback Joe Montana had one of the greatest passing seasons in NFL history in 1989. Montana set a then-NFL record with a passer rating of 112.4,[2] with a completion percentage of 70.2%, and a 26/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In the playoffs, Montana was even more dominant, with a 78.3% completion percentage, 800 yards, 11 touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 146.4 rating. Cold Hard Football Facts calls Montana's 1989 season "the one by which we must measure all other passing seasons."[3]


NFL Draft

Round # Pick # Player Position College
28 San Francisco 49ers Keith DeLong Inside Linebacker Tennessee




Regular season

The 49ers offense was just as dominating as it was during the previous regular season. Quarterback Joe Montana threw for 3,512 yards, 26 touchdowns, and only 8 interceptions, giving him what was then the highest quarterback rating in NFL history (112.4). Montana also rushed for 227 yards and 3 touchdowns, and earned both the NFL Most Valuable Player Award and the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award. Wide receiver Jerry Rice had another outstanding season, catching 82 passes for 1,483 yards and 17 touchdowns. Running back Roger Craig was the team's leading rusher with 1,054 yards and 6 touchdowns, and he recorded 49 receptions for 473 yards and another touchdown.

But other stars on the 49ers offense began to emerge, enabling the team to spread the ball around. After being used primarily as a punt returner during his first 2 seasons, wide receiver John Taylor had a breakout season, catching 60 passes for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns, while also returning 36 punts for 417 yards. Tight End Brent Jones recorded 40 receptions for 500 yards. Fullback Tom Rathman had the best season of his career, rushing for 305 yards and catching 73 passes for 616 yards. Even Montana's backup, quarterback Steve Young had a great year, throwing for 1,001 yards and 8 touchdowns with only 3 interceptions, while also rushing for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. With all of these weapons, San Francisco's offense led the league in total yards from scrimmage (6,268) and scoring (442 points). The 49ers Defense was ranked #3 in the NFL. Three starters from the Defense made the 1989 All-Pro Team: (Ronnie Lott, Don Griffin, and Michael Walter)


Week Date Opponent Result TV Time Attendance
1 September 10, 1989 at Indianapolis Colts W 30-24 CBS 10:00am
2 September 17, 1989 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 20-16 CBS 1:00pm
3 September 24, 1989 at Philadelphia Eagles W 38-28 CBS 10:00am
4 October 1, 1989 Los Angeles Rams L 13-12 CBS 1:00pm
5 October 8, 1989 at New Orleans Saints [4] W 24-20 CBS 10:00am
6 October 15, 1989 at Dallas Cowboys W 31-14 CBS 10:00am
7 October 22, 1989 New England Patriots (at Stanford)[5] W 37-20 NBC 1:00pm
8 October 29, 1989 at New York Jets W 23-10 CBS 1:00pm
9 November 6, 1989 (Mon) New Orleans Saints W 31-13 ABC 6:00pm
10 November 12, 1989 Atlanta Falcons W 45-3 CBS 1:00pm
11 November 19, 1989 Green Bay Packers L 21-17 CBS 1:00pm
12 November 27, 1989 (Mon) New York Giants W 34-24 ABC 6:00pm
13 December 3, 1989 at Atlanta Falcons W 23-10 CBS 10:00am
14 December 11, 1989 (Mon) at Los Angeles Rams W 30-27 ABC 6:00pm
15 December 17, 1989 Buffalo Bills W 23-10 NBC 1:00pm
16 December 24, 1989 Chicago Bears W 26-0 CBS 1:00pm

Season summary

Week 3

1 234Total
49ers 7 3028 38
Eagles 9 3610 28

Joe Montana threw for 428 yards and five touchdowns.


Week 14

Joe Montana set a Monday Night Football record with 458 yards thrown in one game and also threw three touchdown passes. 



NFC Divisional Playoff

San Francisco 49ers 41, Minnesota Vikings 13
1 2 34Total
Vikings 3 0 3713
49ers 7 20 01441

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

MIN- Rich Karlis 38-yard field goal MIN 3-0

SF- Jerry Rice 72-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) SF 7-3

2nd Quarter

SF- Brent Jones 8-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick)SF 14-3

SF- John Taylor 8-yard pass from Joe Montana (kick failed)SF 20-3

SF- Jerry Rice 13-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick)SF 27-3

3rd Quarter

MIN- Rich Karlis 44-yard field goal SF 27-6

4th Quarter

SF- Ronnie Lott 58-yard interception return (Mike Cofer kick)SF 34-6

SF- Roger Craig 4-yard rush (Mike Cofer kick)SF 41-6

MIN- Rick Fenney 3-yard rush (Rich Karlis kick)SF 41-13

NFC Championship

San Francisco 49ers 30, Los Angeles Rams 3
1 2 34Total
Rams 3 0 003
49ers 0 21 3630

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

LA- Mike Lansford 23-yard field goal LA 3-0

2nd Quarter

SF- Brent Jones 20-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick)SF 7-3

SF- Roger Craig 1-yard rush (Mike Cofer kick)SF 14-3

SF- John Taylor 18-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick)SF 21-3

3rd Quarter

SF- Mike Cofer 28-yard field goal SF 24-3

4th Quarter

SF- Mike Cofer 36-yard field goal SF 27-3

SF- Mike Cofer 25-yard field goal SF 30-3

Super Bowl XXIV

San Francisco 49ers 55, Denver Broncos 10
1 2 34Total
49ers 13 14 141455
Broncos 3 0 7010

at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Scoring summary

1st Quarter

  • SF - Jerry Rice 20-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 7-0 SF
  • DEN - David Treadwell 42 yard field Goal 7-3 SF
  • SF - Brent Jones 7-yard pass from Joe Montana (kick failed) 13-3 SF

2nd Quarter

  • SF - Tom Rathman 1-yard run (Mike Cofer kick) 20-3 SF
  • SF - Jerry Rice 38-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 27-3 SF

3rd Quarter

  • SF - Jerry Rice 28-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 34-3 SF
  • SF - John Taylor 35-yard pass from Joe Montana (Mike Cofer kick) 41-3 SF
  • DEN - John Elway 3-yard run (David Treadwell kick) 41-10 SF

4th Quarter

  • SF - Tom Rathman 3-yard run (Mike Cofer kick) 48-10 SF
  • SF - Roger Craig 1-yard run (Mike Cofer kick) 55-10 SF

Awards and records


External links

  • 49ers on Pro Football Reference
  • 49ers Schedule on

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